RECAP: Fontana brace downs Revs 2-1 at Subaru Park

Anthony Fontana came off the bench and took over the match Saturday night, leading Philadelphia Union to a 2-1 victory with a second half brace. 

Fellow substitute Tajon Buchanon scored for the Revs, who finally broke through in their third match against Andre Blake in 2020. 

The Union are now in second place in the Eastern Conference and sport the third-best goal differential in Major League Soccer. 

Jim Curtin handed Andrew Wooten a start up top alongside Kacper Przybylko but otherwise kept the same lineup on the field that demolished New York Red Bulls last Sunday evening. All matches between these clubs are chippy, and this one lived up to the legacy of its predecessors. The Union collected five cautions and Revolution midfielder Matt Polster was ejected after committing two yellow card offenses. 

Once they fought through the crowded midfield, Philly put Matt Turner to the test. First, Wooten skimmed a drive just wide of the near post, then both Przybylko and Glesnes threatened inside of the first half hour and Bedoya fizzed one from the top of the box that Turner squashed easily. 

The complexion of the match changed in the 56th minute when Polster ran down Jose Martinez from behind and, seemingly forgetting that he had already picked up an early card, grabbed the Union midfielder’s shoulder. Up a man, Jim Curtin pushed his team forward with Matt Real and Fontana providing a spark off the bench. 

The homegrowns provided a necessary energy that pinned New England back. Fontana powered a drive from deep soon after entering, but it was blocked and he picked up a card in the ensuing mess inside the Revs goal area. 

In the 74th minute, Fontana switched from power to finesse and put the Union on top. Ray Gaddis led Brenden Aaronson with a cutting ball through midfield and the homegrown sliced into the box before cutting back and looking for Przybylko in the center. The striker battled for the ball and it popped out to Fontana on the left, alone with Matt Turner. Turner went low, so the homegrown attacker slickly lifted the ball up and into the net. 

Philly was only on top for seven minutes. Tajon Buchanon cruised down the right channel before playing a wall pass to Gustavo Bou and nipping in between Mark McKenzie and Matt Real to collect the return ball and slot it past Blake. 

The score remained even until the 95th minute. Ray Gaddis made a stunning late run to latch onto Ale Bedoya’s throughball and create a corner kick. Jamiro Monteiro curled the ball front post and Bedoya flicked it into the center. Diego Fagundez looped a clearance to Fontana at the top of the box. First touch settled, second touch: torched. The air around the ball crackled as it zipped past a mass of bodies and left Turner grasping at air. Fontana sprinted across the pitch, eventually joining the players warming up in a giant team hug. 

The win means the Union remain undefeated in three matchups with the Revs this season and have given up a single goal to Bruce Arena’s side. 

Philly will look to chase down first place in the east when they take on Montreal Impact next Sunday, September 20 at 7:00 p.m. on PHL17. The Union will travel to Red Bull Arena to face the Impact, who are hosting home matches in head coach Thierry Henry’s former stomping grounds in Harrison, New Jersey. 

 

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