Representing Philadelphia Union in eMLS for the first time in competition play, CisseSZN began eMLS League Series One presented by Coca-Cola with nine points on the opening night.
Led by forwards Pele and Cristiano Ronaldo, Cisse picked up three wins in his first four online qualifying matches and sits just three points out of the top spot in a congested field sitting in second place with nine points. Overall Cisse racked up 11 goals across the four matches with the duo each netting four.
Cisse began Tuesday night’s qualifiers with a 3-0 win over New England Revolution’s JKO. The 23-year-old needed just six minutes of FIFA21 action to find the back of the net, with the Union intercepting a goal kick and quickly attacking with a Pele goal. After a long session of defending against JKO, Cisse got the stop and went back to work with France’s Kylian Mbappe embarrassing the Revs defense with multiple skills moves. With just the goalkeeper to beat, Cisse laid it off to Ronaldo to take a 2-0 lead into the break. The scoring concluded early in the second half as Pele capped off the opening match brace.
Much like his opening match, Cisse needed little time to jump ahead on the scoreboard with a deflected passing setting up the go-ahead goal. With players in the box as he raced toward the endline, Ronaldo’s initial pass was stopped by the Timbers’ defense but came back to the forward who found a wide open Patrick Vieira for the opening goal. RCTID_Thiago battled back as he tied things up in the 33rd minute after Cisse turned away three scoring chances moments earlier.
The second half was all Philadelphia as the esports competitor created chance after chance but strong defense kept it close. After a crucial save on a Portland breakaway from Ike Opera, the match-winner game in the 87th minute as Mbappe blasted a right-footed shot into the back of the net. Portland tried to equalize late but Petr Cech did his best Andre Blake impression to stop Marcus Rashford and secure the 2-1 result.
Cisse overcame an early deficit to roll over against the Columbus Crew SC by a 9-1 margin. After falling behind by an third minute goal by Crew96Skamzz, Cisse made the most of his next two offensive possessions with goals by Pele in the seventh minute and then yet another goal from Ronaldo. Cisse’s confidence rose throughout the night and it paid off with Ronaldo racking up a hat trick that was capped off with a chipped goal in the 65th minute of play.
The night ended with a clash against FC Dallas that saw Cisse’s go-ahead Pele goal in the second half disallowed by a timely offsides trap by AlanAvi. Moments later Dallas took control of the match as Brazilian legend Ronaldo collected a deflected poke from Aaron Long and scored. As Cisse pressed for an equalizer on the other end, FC Dallas concluded the 2-0 score line with an insurance goal from second half of the Ronaldo duo.
eMLS League Series One continues Wednesday night as Cisse looks to continue the strong momentum with contests against Austin FC, NYCFC, San Jose and Seattle.
|W, 3-0||Cisse vs. JKO (New England)|
|W, 2-1||Cisse vs. RCTIDThiago (Portland)|
|W, 9-1||Cisse vs. Crew96Skamzz (Columbus)|
|L, 2-0||Cisse vs. AlanAvi (FC Dallas)|
|Jan. 6 (8:30pm)||Cisse vs. XBLEU (Austin FC)|
|Jan. 6 (9:00pm)||Cisse vs. NYCChris (New York City FC)|
|Jan. 6 (9:30pm)||Cisse vs. Benr (San Jose)|
|Jan. 6 (10:00pm)||Cisse vs. GSGXSFC (Seattle)|
|Jan. 12 (8:30pm)||Cisse vs. Alekzandur (Sporting Kansas City)|
|Jan. 12 (9:00pm)||Cisse vs. FCC Fiddle (FC Cincinnati)|
|Jan. 12 (9:30pm)||Cisse vs. Maloney (Orlando City SC)|
|Jan. 12 (10:00pm)||Cisse vs. Mehdibob (Montreal)|
|Jan. 13 (8:30pm)||Cisse vs. STL City SC Hasib (St. Louis)|
|Jan. 13 (9:30pm)||Cisse vs. JordyReyes (Houston)|