Union retake first place, beat Dynamo 2-1

In a sloppy match that will be on neither team’s end-of-season highlight reels, the Union beat the visiting Dynamo 2-1 in a packed house in Chester.

Kacper Przybylko and Jack Elliott tallied for the U. Christian Ramirez scored the equalizer for Houston.

Union first XI: Blake; Collin, Wagner, Elliott, Gaddis; Medunjanin, Bedoya, Fabian, Creavalle; Przybylko, Wooten

First Half:

After a bit of early control, poor defensive decisions led to multiple quality Houston chances early. It was the Union however who struck first in the seventeenth minute; Haris Medunjanin and Kacper Przybylko performed a little one-two magic into the box, leading to Kacper nutmegging Dynamo keeper Joe Willis and the ball weakly trickling into the goal. The downtrodden Dynamo fought back where they could against a Union team who held the ball 54 percent of the match (albeit with much of that possession in non-dangerous areas). Christian Ramirez found himself high in the box with Union keeper Andre Blake and put a delicate tap over the sprawling Blake, but defender Jack Elliott cleared it out as it was heading for the goal in Houston’s best chance before the forty-second minute.

The ageless DeMarcus Beasley took a ball down the flank and fired a pass to Ramirez at the top of the box. No less than six Union men were around Ramirez but all failed to mark him as Christian cooly took a touch and then blasted a shot past the helpless Blake to equalize just before half.

Second Half:

The second half started with the visitors playing brightly and threatening the goal on three occasions, but to no avail. The Union defense looked shaky, so Curtin called upon Jamiro Monteiro to replace Creavalle, and soon followed it with Ilsinho for Wooten and a shift in formation. Immediately following the Ilsinho sub, the Union put the ball in the net and appeared to take the lead, but the goal was called back on an offsides decision.

Houston continued to threaten the scoreline, but again, it was the Union who broke through in the seventy-eighth minute. Montiero swung a ball into the box that Collin got a head to and steered towards Elliott. Elliott deflected the ball onto frame, but it hit the crossbar; Elliott never gave up on the ball however and followed it for an easy header into the net to give the Union what would be the final margin to three points. Despite a couple more close calls from the Dynamo, the Union closed the match out.

Notes:

-Andre Blake looked hobbled after claiming a throw-in into the box late in the second half. His status is unknown.

-After scoring, Przybylko ran to the sideline to get one of the “O Captain, my Captain” shirts the Union have begun selling and held it up on the field as his celebration.

-Jack Elliott for me was the Man of the Match. He saved a goal on one end and scored the winner on the other end.

-Talen was loud and packed. May we always be blessed with such turnouts and happy noise.

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