Three years ago behind a timely goal from Fafa Picault and an impressive defensive performance from Andre Blake, Philadelphia Union knocked off rivals D.C. United by a 1-0 scoreline. Below is the original match recap as it appeared on PhiladelphiaUnion.com
Philadelphia Union earned the victory over D.C. United with a 1-0 shutout win on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 17,656 at Talen Energy Stadium. That enabled the home team to take the season series, two-games to one.
The Union saw sensational performances from 2016 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake and newcomer Fafa Picault in the victory.
The match was scoreless after the first 30 minutes, with D.C. creating most of the pressure. Blake was able to keep D.C. off the board though, with a diving save, denying highly touted rookie Ian Harkes.
Philadelphia finally broke through in the 31st minute thanks to tremendous build up from the right side of the Union Starting XI. After Ray Gaddis received a pass from Jack Elliott, the Union right back sent a beautiful ball under pressure to Union Captain Alejandro Bedoya, as he penetrated the D.C. zone.
Bedoya sent in a ball just before entering the box to the near side for a streaking Picault. With his left foot, Picault instantaneously connected with the pass and fired a bullet to the net, beating D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid to give Philadelphia the 1-0 lead and that was the count at intermission as well.
The match remained tame throughout the next 35 minutes until D.C. had an opportunity to tie the match. D.C. United’s Taylor Kemp sent a ball forward, when Union defender Oguchi Onyewu found himself inadvertently in its path. Onyewu was whistled for a handball in the box and D.C. United was awarded a penalty kick.
Lamar Neagle stepped up to the penalty spot for D.C. and attempted to tie the match. 2016 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Blake dove to his right and denied Neagle, with Union supporters blowing the roof off of Talen Energy Stadium.
Union leading goal-scorer CJ Sapong nearly sealed the deal for Philadelphia in the 73rd minute after a corner attempt found its way to Sapong’s foot. After a spinarooni, from Sapong, his shot attempt was pushed over the crossbar keeping the match at 1-0.
Moments later, complete pandemonium filled the pitch as referee Sorin Stoica issued D.C. United’s Luciano Acosta a red card after getting tangled up with Haris Medunjanin. After further review it was determined that there was no infraction and Acosta was allowed to stay in the match.
The play of the match came in stoppage time and again, it was Blake who continued to show his late game heroics. D.C. United gave one last effort to earn a road point as Acosta sent a perfect ball in the box for Neagle. After a ferocious header from point blank range, Blake was able to tip the ball with his outstretched arm to save the match and secure three points for Philadelphia.