Union squeeze life out of Cincinnati, 2-0

The Union prevailed despite a driving rain and a referee who seemed content to let nearly everything go.

David Accam and Marco Fabian scored for the Union. Andre Blake also added a clutch save in a big moment.

Union first XI: Kai Wagner, Auston Trusty, Jack Elliott, Ray Gaddis; Brenden Aaronson, Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya; David Accam, Marco Fabian, Fafa Picault

The first half bore out what the game was going to be: a lot of Union possession, with Cincinnati waiting to counter. The Union had a whopping nine corners and 63 percent possession through the first 45 minutes, but little to show for it, only putting a single shot on the net. Cinci was worse, with their counter attack repeatedly sputtering. This would continue into the second half, and in the 47th minute, David Accam ran down the right flank and onto a ball which he slid over into the box to Fabian. The Mexican international took one touch and blasted a left-footed rocket past helpless Cinci keeper Spencer Richey, and the Union led.

Cincinnati finally found its feet for a spell, pressing the Union with four straight corners and forcing Andre Blake into a brilliant leaping save to keep the Union up 1-0. Roland Lamah blasted a shot from close range, but Blake was equal to it. That save would prove enormous, for just minutes later, David Accam grabbed his third goal of the year and doubled the Union advantage. Accam recovered a 50/50 ball on the left side of the box, beat three defenders, and coolly slotted the ball into the side netting on the far post as Richey was again left helpless. Accam (who had changed his nameplate to Titi to honor his late father with a nickname they shared in Ghana) has already beaten his goal production from last year for the Union and looks to have staked a solid claim to one of the striker spots that was in doubt.

Curtin began using his substitutions soon after: Accam came out for Cory Burke in the 66th. Fabian (who was not 90 minutes fit following his two-match suspension) departed for the newly-cleared Jamiro Monteiro in the 71st. Aaronson (who played brilliantly along side of Marco Fabian) came out for Warren Creavalle in the 90th to help seal the match.

This was a comprehensive Union win, and a good three road points in adverse conditions, both the driving rain as well as a ref allergic to blowing the whistle. Only fifteen total fouls were called by Rubiel Vazquez in the match, and no cards shown. Players were doing whatever they wanted and getting away with it; Brenden Aaronson took a hard boot to the leg late in the match on the ball and nothing was called, for example. Blake took an elbow to the head in the box as well. It was a poorly officiated affair to be sure.

One last note: Andre Blake appeared to be injured near the end of the match, and was slow to get up several times. It would be worth keeping an eye on his status for next week’s match against FC Dallas.

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