Union Lose In A Scoreless Draw
Chester, PA – The Philadelphia Union played a scoreless draw to Real Salt Lake. Both teams walked away with a point but to the Union it felt like a loss. Philadelphia’s playoff hopes took a huge blow tonight as the team couldn’t find a way to get the must needed the 3 points. With just five home games remaining the Union will need maximum points at home and will have to find a way to steal some extra points on the road.
Real came into the match with a four game road losing streak, so the draw away felt like a win. Real looked content in the 2nd half with getting the scoreless draw. They (Real) sat back and played defensive minded football and didn’t take any by pushing up deep. The Union controlled the ball 60% of the time in the 2nd half but just couldn’t find a way through the Real back-line.
Neither team’s offensives could get in the swing of things, the chances for both teams on goal could be counted on one hand. The Union had big a chance to score right before half as Micheal Farfan grabbed a ball outside the the Salt Lake box. He made move to beat Kwame Watson-Siriboe off the ball and then sent a low cross though box to a wide open streaking Danny Cruz. Cruz one-timed the pass and it sailed high over the crossbar.
In the 54th minute Cruz almost found a way to score his first Union goal, as he curled in a corner kick. Real Salt Lake midfielder Ned Grabavoy appeared to head the ball away just inches before it went into the back of the net. But a few seconds later the replay showed that Grabavoy handled the ball, instead of cleaning heading it away. Since it happened so fast (and there are no replays in MLS) there was no call on the field for a penalty. The Union had to play on and this just added to night of offense frustrations.
Real almost got the winner in the 85th as Jonny Steel tried to steal the show, when he beat Union keeper Zac MacMath and looked to have an open goal. But Steele put a poor next touch on the ball, and MacMath jumped on the lose ball two yards from goal. In stoppage time Antonie Hoppenot and Amobi Okugo had good looks on goal but weren’t able to find the back of the net. The match ended 0-0 with both team playing for the second time this week. The look from each side after the final whistle was fatigue, frustrated and fight-worn bodies as they combined for 23 fouls.
Philadelphia Union v. Real Salt Lake: Highlights
The Union will return to the pitch Wednesday 8/29 as they Columbus Crew at 8:00 PM ET (TV – TCN)
This Sunday the Union front office staff and Son’s of Ben will hold the 2nd Annual River Cup game at 6 PM ET at PPL Park. The game will raise money for Chester youth soccer. Last summer the Union F.O. walked away with a 2-1 victory but importantly through the event near $20,000 was raised for Chester City United.
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