Day two of GA Cup Regional Qualifying at the Power Training Complex in Chester saw the Union U17s pull out an epic shootout win over New England after a riveting 3-3 contest.
Patrick Bohui, Danny Flores, and Selmir Miscic all scored for the Union.
The match opened with New England pressuring Philly all over the field. Off a free kick on the right, chaos ensued in the box, and the Revs were able to punch home an early opener. Jack De Vries and Tianshuo Yang, both getting their first starts of the tournament, combined with Miscic and Bohui to create a response shot that was deflected wide. Miscic then sent a beautiful free kick toward the far post that de Vries put on frame, but New England’s goalie came up with a huge save and Bohui’s follow-up was blocked away.
The Union broke through when Miscic’s corner was flicked on at the front post by Adam Lenges to Bohui, who slid in at the back to finish.
Miscic and Bohui both nodded headers over, then the Revs pulled back into the lead with a gorgeous free kick that was curled unstoppably past Lukas Burns and into the side netting.
In the second half, Union holding midfielder Danny Flores put his stamp on the match with a wondrous long left-footed strike. Hitting a rolling ball, Flores connected perfectly and sent a fiery shot against the right post and in from distance.
The Revs responded quickly, however, bullying into Philly’s defense and dispatching a left-footed goal in off the near post.
As the Union sought an equalizer, they turned to Miscic. The recent Bethlehem Steel signing stood over a free kick about 25 yards from goal in the right channel. His shot ballooned upward then dipped suddenly and severely, dropping into the top left corner of the net. It was perfect.
Philly continued pressing forward, and substitute Aboubacar Camara lifted a shot over the bar before Bohui put one wide of the far post. As things wound down, Miscic had another chance from a dead ball but drove his shot into the wall.
The match had to be decided on penalties, and there was more drama to come.
Miscic and Bohui both had their shots saved, while Flores, Camara, and Lenges scored. Burns made two saves himself, and things were even after five shots. The sudden death rounds began, and in the eighth round Philadelphia finally secured the victory when New England’s shot cleared the bar.
The shootout win gives the Union two points after their first two rounds of play in the regionals.
Nelson Pierre continued to walk over the competition in the U15s GA Cup run. Against New England, the Union once again spent most of the match on top, with attacking midfielder Nico Rubio quickly looking for Pierre and Million Evans with an early cross that barely eluded the attackers.
The Revs responded up the right, and Union center back Sam Fenton had to be careful to avoid putting the ball into his own net when a fine cross was sent in behind the defense. Fenton quickly got involved going the other way, setting up Pierre’s first goal of the day. A long aerial through the left channel sent in Pierre, and he made short work of the defense before laying home the finish.
Rubio set up Pierre’s second, centering for the big striker to settle and blast in from close range.
Quinn Sullivan nearly got on the score sheet for the second straight day with a pair of chances. First he laced a long drive off the goalie’s hands, then knocked a header just off the bar.
Goalie Owen Moore make his mark on the game with a stunning top corner save in the second half off a New England free kick.
The Revs pushed forward once or twice, but there was little resistance left. The Union held on for the win and now have six points after two games. Pierre has four goals on his own.
The U15s return to action at 10:00AM on Monday, October 8 at the Power Training Complex next to Talen Energy Stadium. The U17s kickoff at 12:30PM the same day, with both teams facing Orlando City.