In a battle featuring the two best goalkeepers at the MLS is Back Tournament so far, Andre Blake stepped up to show why he continues to be the competition’s top netminder.
The Philadelphia Union goalkeeper turned in another standout performance, making five saves to help Sergio Santos’ second-half goal stand up as the winner in a 1-0 victory in MLS is Back Round of 16 action.
Santos’ second-half goal came after a superb assist from Jamiro Monteiro, and it helped the Union book their place in the quarterfinal with a third win in four matches.
Tajon Buchanan had the best chance in the opening half, trying to chip over Andre Blake in the 25th minute. The Jamaican though made himself big to repel the effort out.
After a sloppy first half for the Revolution, Bruce Arena’s side turned it up after halftime. Gustavo Bou’s long free-kick was pushed out for a corner by Blake in the 57th minute before Cristian Penilla sliced his right-footed shot wide.
The Union took advantage of a Revolution giveaway though to break the deadlock after the hour mark. Monteiro’s over the top ball allowed Santos to run on and slide a shot over Matt Turner and into the top-right corner.
It was Santos’ third-career goal against the Revolution.
The Revolution tried to fight its way back, but unfortunately could not get past a stubborn Union backline. Both Ray Gaddis and Kai Wagner put in strong performances from their full back positions, rarely being beat down the flanks.
Jim Curtin’s Union will now have to wait until Sunday night’s showdown between Western Conference sides Sporting KC and the Vancouver Whitecaps to learn their quarterfinal opponent. Their quarterfinal is set for Thursday in Orlando.
Man of the Match:
Sergio Santos: The Brazilian forward was a problem for the Revolution defenders, using his mixture of physicality and speed on several occasions. His cool finish was the top moment of the match before being subbed off.
Moment of the Match:
Santos Goal: When it looked like the Revolution were ready to take the lead, the Union made them pay after a simple giveaway. Gustavo Bou’s turnover allowed Monteiro to play a ball forward for Santos to chase. The Brazilian did the rest with a confident finish.
Match to Forget:
Adam Buksa: Out of all of the Revolution attacking players, Adam Buksa failed to do much. The tall forward was held in check by Jack Elliott and Mark McKenzie.