Union busters: Real Salt Lake wins 2-1 in Chester

On a hot, humid night in Chester, Real Salt Lake defeated the Union 2-1. Roland Alberg scored the only goal for the U.

Philadelphia Union first XI: Blake; Fabinho, Marquez, Tribbett, Rosenberry; Carroll, Creavalle; Pontius, Alberg, Ilsinho; Sapong

Real Salt Lake first XI: Rimando; Beltran, Olave, Maund, Phillips; Beckerman, Mulholland, Morales; Martinez, Garcia, Plata

The Union started brightly while attacking Chester End, generating chances and crosses. A Fabinho cross in the sixth minute nearly found Sapong right in front of Rimando, but CJ couldn’t get there. Soon after, Brian Carroll hit a beautiful lofted ball to Chris Pontius, who touched it to Roland Alberg in the box, but his touch failed him. More corners came for the Union, but nothing happened. In the 17th, Real Salt Lake nearly struck when Joao Plata was slipped into the box and Blake (who had come out to stop the play) couldn’t get to the ball, but Plata’s effort struck the right post and stayed out.

Play got rougher and rougher as the players slogged through the brutal conditions. CJ Sapong and Kyle Beckerman tangled at midfield, actually trading pushes. Soon after, Fabinho was the first to be carded for a tackle in the 23rd minute, a yellow which gave a free kick near the Union box which came to nothing, and which will see him miss the next match on accumulation. The Union continued to cross the ball into the box mainly from the left side, as Fabinho hit diagonals and driven balls at every opportunity. As the half neared its end, the boys in blue had more and more possession, and it all reached a crescendo in the 44th minute when Sapong was taken down in the box by Aaron Maund; it lead to a penalty which Roland Alberg cooly converted, sending Rimando right then hitting it hard and low to the left for a 1-0 Union lead, which is how the half ended.

The second half opened with a tremendous effort by Joao Plata in the 47th. After a brief passing sequence, Plata took a bad angle shot from outside the box and managed to bend it around Blake and hit it top corner, leaving the Jamaican helpless. Just seven minutes later, Javier Morales took a shot that appeared to deflect past Blake, making it 2-1 to RSL. Looking for a spark, Union manager Jim Curtin pulled Roland Alberg in favor of Fabian Herbers in the 63rd minute, but the Union defense kept allowing chances and much more possession for RSL in the Union half. A hard strike by Plata was barely stopped by a diving Blake in the 64th. RSL used their first sub in the 69th, taking Martinez off and bringing Omar Holness on. The Union countered with more offense, taking Creavalle off and putting Leo Fernandes on in the 72nd.

Fernandes had an immediate chance but hit it right at Rimando in the 73rd. Ilsinho came off soon after to be replaced by Sebastien Le Toux, using the Union’s last sub. Le Toux immediately won a corner which eventually led to Fabinho in the box hitting a hard ball at goal, but into the side netting. The Union pressed forward, needing an equalizer; several times the ball found Le Toux in the box, but at too wide of an angle to do much with it. Off of a corner kick near the end of regulation, the ball fell to Brian Carroll in the box, but Rimando was there for a huge double save to keep the Union from equalizing. From there, RSL saw the game out, and the Union dropped all three points.

 

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