CHESTER, PA, — The Philadelphia Union had to wait until stoppage time to break the deadlock and earn a 1-0 win over D.C. United on Friday night.
Richie Marquez tapped in Sebastien Le Toux’s cross on the left side of the penalty area to hand the Union an important victory at Talen Energy Stadium, where they dropped points in their previous two matches. The goal was the first of Marquez’s career.
The Union moved into first place in the Eastern Conference with the victory, leapfrogging New York City FC, which hosts the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
A boring first half turned into a second 45 minutes with a bit of excitement, but neither side possessed the quality to beat the opposing goalkeeper in the Eastern Conference clash.
The Eastern Conference foes exchanged a shot on goal apiece during a primarily dull first 45 minutes. Andre Blake easily caught Luciano Acosta’s attempt in the 19th minute, while Travis Worra got his hands on Fabinho’s attempt from distance in the 38th minute.
The match came to life at the beginning of the second half as each side created a quality scoring opportunity, but neither were converted on. Sebastien Le Toux’s failure to secure the ball on the right part of the box in the 50th minute had the best potential of the two moves.
Blake kept the game scoreless in the 63rd minute as he used his left hand to deny a bicycle-kick attempt off the boot of Alvaro Saborio.
C.J. Sapong came close to breaking the deadlock in the 77th minute as he broke into the left side of the box, but Worra made a splendid save to force a corner. A few seconds later, Steve Birnbaum cleared the ball off the line after Tranquillo Barnetta entered the penalty area behind an impressive individual effort.
With stoppage time underway, the Union finally pounced for a strike in front of their home fans as Marquez’s overlapping run was rewarded with a tap-in into an open net.
The Union return to action on Wednesday as they visit Orlando City at the Citrus Bowl, while D.C. is back in action in a week’s time as they take on Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park.
Man of the Match
Marquez scored the game-winner and was a part of a back line that conceded just two shots on target over 90 mintues. The late tally was the first of Marquez’s three-year career.
Moment of the Match
Marquez’s goal sent Talen Energy Stadium into a massive uproar in the 90th minute. The goal came at a time where many thought they were going home disappointed after watching a third straight draw.
Match to Forget
Outside of his shot on target right at Blake, Acosta was a non-factor in the D.C. attack during his 60-minute shift. The offseason acquisition made things worse for himself as he left the pitch by denying a handshake from Ben Olsen that may leave him in the doghouse for a few weeks.