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The Union continued the 2014 season undefeated in their home opener this past saturday as they beat the New England Revolution 1-0. Lone goal by midfielder Sebastien Le Toux early in the first half was able to keep the Union in the lead and earn the team a whole three points.
The Union played a 4-3-3 lineup similar to last week, the only difference being the absence of defensive midfielder and captain Brian Carroll who was removed from the lineup last minute due to an illness. Filling in for Carroll was Leo Fernandes who prior to the match had only made seven appearances for the club. Maurice Edu slid back into a defensive midfield role so that Fernandes could be more attack oriented.
The first big goal scoring opportunity for the Union came in the 23rd minute when a cross was made from Ray Gaddis into the box. It was punched away by Revs goalkeeper, Bobby Shuttleworth right into Le Toux who was just unable to get his foot on the ball in front of an empty net.
The next opportunity was just a minute later when Cristian Maidana sent a long ball into the box to Jack McInerney. He took a low, right-footed shot on goal but it was punched away by Shuttleworth again.
A goal for the Union finally came in the 31st minute. Fabinho made a pass up to Fernandes on the left side of the field. Revolution defender Andrew Farrell stumbled before the ball giving Fernandes space. He made a cross right in front of goal to Le Toux who played the ball of to the side and into the goal just out of Shuttleworth’s reach.
New England was almost able to equalize in the 37th minute on a counter attack. Teal Bunbury played the ball across goal to Diego Fagundez who took a low hard shot on goal. Zac MacMath made an incredible save with his leg to hold on to the Union’s lead.
Throughout the rest of the game the Union maintained most of the possession but didn’t create as many chances as they did in the first half. Towards the end the Revolution played with a more attacking style but the Union defense was able to prevent them from scoring. The Union were clearly the better team and dominated the entire game. They continued their creative style of play from last week and will continue to be a competitive force in the Eastern conference this season.
(image courtesy of philadelphiaunion.com)