Late penalty costs Union valuable point in DC

Following an impressive yet surprising two game win streak against two very tough teams, the Philadelphia Union came thundering back to reality by losing 2-1 to the same team they had beaten just two fixtures before at the RFK Stadium.

Things actually looked like they were going to continue in their current statr at the start of the match. Some great play from Aristegueta and his supporting wingers set up Le Toux who took one touch slotted it into the net for what was to be the Union’s only goal all game.

After a D.C United shot was dealt with and the pressure seemed to mount, the Union responded by almost doubling their lead. Andrew Wenger went  one on one with the goalie before powering a shot against the bar. The ball ricocheted to midfield maestro Maidana who was unable to loft it over D.C’s shot stopper. It seemed that the good luck the team had amounted in recent weeks was disintegrating..and fast.

They often say that just moments before the first half closes is the worst time to concede and for the Union, that statement rang true. Chris Pontius  was able to direct a header to beat a leaping Sylvestre for a beautiful goal.

 The second half was an exciting battle with chances both up and down the field being poached by two top Goalies. Sylvestre continued to impress for the Union by arguably keeping them alive in some situations. It was end to end stuff and showcased exactly what makes this league so fun to watch. However, for us Union fans..we know that the final few minutes can be nailbiting..and this was no exception.
With just five minutes left on the clock, the deadlock was broken..and it was the home side who scored.. though not in the most traditional of ways. Previous game winner Zach Pfeffer leaped up to head away a dangerous ball but made contact with the wrong part of his body, leading to a handball call and a penalty being awarded.  The sons of ben were fuming. There was no malicious intent behind the handball and if anything, it was ball to hand but due to his arm resting in an unnatural position, the referee had no other call..that’s soccer.
Chris Rolfe stepped up..someone who should have stepped to the dugout after a dodgy tackle earlier on and slotted the ball home past Sylvestre as he hopelessly watched the ball fly past. The Union, despite fighting would get no opportunity to equalize and once again found themselves defeated.

The team played well however and can be somewhat proud of their overall performance, especially when comparing it to those in the early stages of the season. PPL Parks finest will need to recover soon however as they will be tested in a few days time. Columbus Crew head down to Philadelphia on Wednesday for what’s set to be a grudge match following their contest in April, can the Union bounce back?

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