New York City FC is still searching for its first win while the Philadelphia Union seized control of Group A in the MLS is Back Tournament with a morning victory.
Alejandro Bedoya’s winner and Andre Blake’s highlight-reel saves helped pave the way for a 1-0 Union victory over NYCFC on Thursday in a clash of Group A favorites.
After a scoreless first half, Bedoya broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute. The Englewood, New Jersey native attempted a low cross into 19-year old Brendan Aaronsen. Defensive interceptions denied the attempt, but the ball found its way back to Bedoya’s feet. He took matters into his own hands by driving a shot to the back post for the game’s only goal.
Despite NYCFC enjoying the majority of clear-cut chances, the Union weathered the storm in the 2nd half to come away with the tournament’s first clean sheet.
Philadelphia’s next game is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday at 8 p.m. against Nashville SC, though the expansion side is still awaiting a decision that will determine whether they remain in the competition. NYCFC will face Orlando SC later that night at 10:30 p.m.
Man of the Match
Andre Blake: The Jamaican international deserves huge credit for shutting out NYCFC on Thursday after recording seven saves. His best saves came in the last 10 minutes when he stopped both Heber and Gary Mackay-Steven from point-blank range.
Moment of the Match
96th minute save: In the last big chance of the game, Blake made a 1v1 save to stop substitute Mackay-Stevens from equalizing. Heber played a through ball to Mackay-Stevens to put him in on goal, but Blake came off his line to keep the Union’s advantage.
Match to Forget
Ronny Deila. The NYCFC coach is still searching for his first MLS point, and his second-half substitutions failed to turn the tide once the Union took the lead.