Philadelphia Union fell to Eastern Conference rival D.C. United 2-1 in front of a crowd of 14,560 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. on Saturday night. The loss drops Philadelphia to 0-2-2 on the season.
2016 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake came up big for Philadelphia in the early moments of the match. Blake made back-to-back saves on D.C. United’s Lloyd Sam and Luciano Acosta to keep the match scoreless.
D.C. United was able to break through in the 18th minute. After Blake made a clearing attempt, the ball bounced off of the head of Fabinho and into the possession of Sam who delivered a pass to José Guillermo Ortiz. The shot by Ortiz bounced off of defender Oguchi Onyewu and into the back of the net.
D.C. got their second goal of the match thanks to a penalty call. The referee crew ruled that Union defender Richie Marquez had a pass deflect off his arm just inside the box. D.C. was awarded a penalty kick and Acosta barely beat the out-stretched arms of Blake to secure the two goal lead in the 27th minute.
As both squads took the pitch for the final 45, fourth round pick Jack Elliott made his MLS debut replacing Marquez who left the match and was evaluated for a head injury. Elliott in his debut helped the backline pitch a second half shutout.
CJ Sapong got Philadelphia on the board in the 71st minute, after beating D.C. keeper Bill Hamid for a tap-in. Sapong’s goal is his third in as many games for the Union. The goal was set up after Philadelphia Captain Alejandro Bedoya sent a shot towards the net that was saved by Hamid, but Sapong was waiting on the doorstep to hammer home the rebound.
After several late attempts to tie the match which including a tremendous effort from Hamid, the Union fell short in their comeback effort and fell to D.C. 2-1.
Philadelphia Union will be in action next week when they return to Talen Energy Stadium to take on Portland Timbers with a kick-off set for 7 p.m. This will be the first of three consecutive matches played at home for the Union.