After falling behind early in the second half, Philadelphia Union fought back like the city it represents with goals from Mikael Uhre and Daniel Gazdag to claim a 2-1 win against the New England Revolution on Saturday night at Subaru Park. Kai Wagner set up his 10th goal of the regular season with a perfectly placed corner kick for Uhre's equalizer and then Gazdag claimed all three points with a hammered finish from the penalty spot to keep the Union atop the Eastern Conference.
Playing its third match in nine days, Union Head Coach turned to the younger pieces of the roster against a well-rested Revs side with homegrowns Paxten Aaronson and Jack McGlynn on the pitch at the opening whistle in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The starting youth made the Boys in Blue eager from the opening attack with Aaronson intercepting a poor pass from Revs and looking to run. Julian Carranza drew a set piece chance for Kai Wagner and the MLS All-Star floated another perfect volley into the box that was turned away after a Nathan Harriel headed attempt.
Jakob Glesnes and Stuart Findlay continued to start in the middle of the Union backline and were in sync once more as they stayed aligned to draw Gustavo Bou offside in the seventh. Seconds later, Findlay nearly sent Subaru Park into a frenzy for what could be his final appearance in Chester. Seeing the Revs in a low block, the Scottish center back unleashed a blast from long range that forced a diving stop from Revs goalkeeper Đorđe Petrović.
Chance | Findlay has a go from long distance
The Union continued to dominate possession in the first half as they sough to break down the Bruce Arena’s side for an early lead. Jose Martinez in the 11th took a pass from McGlynn and had a go from outside the box which was just wide of the post. The Boys in Blue continued to press and possess for another opportunity. It came with the two homegrowns combining once more before laying it off for Union leading goalscorer Daniel Gazdag. Seeing a lane for a shot inside the box, the Hungarian rifled a right-footed shot that was saved.
After seeing Findlay attempt a golazo, Jakob Glesnes got forward in the 22nd and fired a shot so hard that it nearly bounced into the net after slamming off the keeper.
Chance | Glesnes fires a difficult shot
New England jumped into the attack following the Glesnes shot but ran into the Norwegian when Bou fired a shot at the top of the box in the 28th. Moments later the Revs’ best chance of the half came against the run of play when Dylan Borrero got space on the wing and sent a shot pass Andre Blake but into the crossbar.
After absorbing pressure in the opening half, New England came out on the front foot in the final 45 and were keen to get their forward Gustavo Bou more involved. Just like in the first half, Bou once more saw a shot from the edge of the box crash off of Glesnes but in the 61st minute he broke through to give the visiting side a one-goal advantage.
Jim Curtin turned to his veteran bench with starters Mikael Uhre and Alejandro Bedoya taking the place of Aaronson and Flach following the goal and the fresh legs paid dividends later in the contest.
New England nearly doubled its lead if not for spectacular goalkeeping for the Union’s other MLS All-Star Andre Blake. The keeper stood tall in the 66th to deny the Revs goalscorer and get momentum back behind the Boys in Blue.
Save | Blake comes up huge on the breakaway
With a big stop on the other end of the field, Curtin added Olivier Mbaizo and Cory Burke into the contest. Mbaizo stepped on the pitch and nearly set up an tying goal with a hard cross from the right wing that skipped through the jumble of players in front of goal.
Moments later the Cameroonian earned a corner kick and the Union’s set piece dominance showed off once more. Wagner again stood over the ball in the Supporters’ Section corner flag and flicked in a ball that had the keeper whiff and right to Uhre for the equalizing header.
Goal | Uhre ties it up off the Kai corner!
With the fans roaring the Union kept their foot on the accelerator and bagged the game-winner after Bedoya fed Gazdag in the box with the Union midfielder getting taken down by Henry Kessler. After drawing the foul, Gazdag wouldn’t be denied from the spot and smashed a rocket into the back of the net for the 2-1 lead.
Goal | Gazdag smashes the Union into the lead
With a pair of goals in a four-minute span, the Union locked down defensively to keep the Revs from securing a road point. A pair of corners were grabbed out of the air and into the gloves of Blake each time to see out the comeback win.
Philadelphia Union is back on the road for the final time in July as they return to action next weekend against Orlando City SC on Saturday, July 23rd. The Boys in Blue battle the Lions for the first time in league play and are looking for revenge after the Florida side eliminated them from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup earlier this season. Kick off from Orlando is set for 7:30 p.m. with coverage locally on PHL17 and PhiladelphiaUnion.com.