Before the All-Star break, Philadelphia Union Team Manager John Hackworth mentioned it will be nice to have a whole week to prepare for New England. He turned out to be right as the Philadelphia Union defeated the New England Revolution 2-1 in an exciting comeback victory.
Antoine Hoppenot earned his first MLS start, and it looked like the line of McInerney and Hoppenot would cause trouble for New England. In the fourth minute Gabriel Farfan played a ball over the top to Hoppenot, but Hoppenot was whistled offside. Hoppenot earned the Union’s first corner in the ninth minute, the ensuing inswinger by Freddy Adu was stopped, and Jack McInerney’s chance on a loose ball was also stopped.
New England would score first and boded bad for the Union. This year the Union has not won after trailing in a game. In the 12th minute New England’s Saër Sène shot a rocket from about 30 yards out and it found the net. Sène almost put the Revolution up by two goals in the 23rd minute, but Zac MacMath was well positioned to make the save. The score would remain 1-0 New England heading into halftime.
One minute into the second half Antoine Hoppenot earned an early corner for the Philadelphia Union, but nothing came of it. Three minutes later Sène had another scoring chance, but a sliding Sheanon Williams broke up the play. In the 53rd minute Sheanon Williams prevented another Sène scoring opportunity.
Jack McInerney was taken down near the box. While it looked to be outside the box, the head referee signaled for a penalty kick. Freddy Adu lined up to take the penalty kick, and buried the penalty kick past a diving Reis. The Union has made all ten penalty kicks they have attempted in league play in franchise history.
Zac MacMath would keep the game tied as New England had a barrage of scoring chances. In the 79th minute MacMath made a save on a well-taken free kick, and Feilhaber took a long shot in the 86th minute, but MacMath came up huge again to prevent a score. Sène got behind the back line in the 89th minute, however, MacMath made another save preventing New England from taking the lead and three points.
The Union would strike again for its first comeback win of the season. Sheanon Williams crossed the ball from the right side, and Jack McInerney headed the ball home for the game-winner. After the goal McInerney ran over to the River End and was lifted into the stands by the Sons of Ben supporters. The celebration showed just how big the Union’s 2-1 victory over New England was. As a result of the win, Philadelphia is now tied for eighth place with New England and is only nine points back from fifth place Chicago Fire, who at the moment is in the last spot for the playoffs. Luckily for the Union, they have games in hand on everyone ahead of them in the standings but the Columbus Crew.
With the win against New England, the Philadelphia Union has now won four straight MLS games at home. They face off next against the Montreal Impact on August 4th.