Union fall to New England and fall out of play-off race

The Union came into their fixture against New England Revolution at PPL Park with every hope and every chance of walking away with three points. Their hopes were thwarted in the second half when Diego Fagundez became the youngest ever player in MLS history to reach 25 league goals to seal a 0-1 win for the away side.

The game started worryingly for the Union when Davies was able to work his way behind Marquez to unleash Fagundez with a ball into the box. It was the perfect opportunity to score but there was no challenge for Blake as the ball was sent high in the 7th minute.

The following minutes contained end to end stuff, from a near miss at the away goal to yet more pressure building in the Union’s third of the pitch. But it was the Revs who were on the back foot when Lr Toux found fellow winger Barnetta who hit the ball with his first touch in the 22nd minute. Shuttleworth stopped the shot and was challenged moments later. Midfield Maestro Chaco Maidana was looking for a goal of his own and he almost had it, had he just placed his shot an inch to further to the inside.

The tempo of the game was anything but slow and that was both a blessing and a curse for the Union. It meant that when attacking, Barnetta and Le Toux were extremely effective, but Brian Carroll was having to work overtime to try and stop Nguyen from breaking through on a counter. The half ended 0-0 with both teams failing to make the most of their many decent chances. Some great goalkeeping displays had set the tone for the game and both teams were left wanting that goal just a little bit more.

The Union suffered a setback that could have been a lot worse just four minutes in when a frustrated Nogueira picked up a yellow on his return to the team. Perhaps a little shaken, the Union struggled to keep the Revs at bay. A first time flick from a throw in from Davies was able to find Fagundez who dribbled his way to the edge of the box before firing a low shot to the opposite side of the goal in spectacular fashion. No fault of Andre Blake was to be found here, just sloppy Defensive play which saw too much jockeying for someone so lethal.

Sapong had missed a header previously but after struggling to get possession, the Union’s stat striker had one more chance to get the header through. Nogueira pinged in a beautiful ball but to no avail as the score remained the same.

It almost seemed inevitable that Nguyen was going to score. He had been testing Andre Blake all night and late on curled a peach towards the top corner, but Blake did surprisingly well to leap up and punch the ball out of bounds. Say what you want about the Union last night, Andre Blake looked absolutely brilliant in goal and without a doubt kept his team in the game, further showing what we have all been saying for months..he could be the future of the Union’s goalkeeping position. Five saves in the teams 0-1 loss showcased his potential as Agudelo was played through in stoppage time but the keeper charged in true Neuer fashion to ensure that he would concede no more than one…an inspiring performance in what was otherwise a disappointing result.

To add insult to injury, Maidana was understandably frustrated come stoppage time and was called over for shoving Nguyen. The frustration foul resulted in a red card..an event that summed up the game.

Time is running out for the Union following another tough result. It was another game in which there was simply not enough support for Sapong and a game in which the Union failed to be efficient in front of goal..just two shots on target during the entire game is unacceptable.

Their main focus has to now be the Open Cup, rotate the squad and keep the starters ready for a huge showdown in just a few weeks time. There is no point in risking injury or fatigue when the stakes have become so low in the league and high in the cup. side.

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