Philadelphia Union 2, FC Cincinnati 0 | 2019 MLS Match Recap
The win gives the Union a regular-season sweep over FC Cincy, after first defeating them 2-0 in Ohio on March 30.
Philadelphia's young goalkeeper Matt Freese was pressed into action early, saving Nick Hagglund's deflected strike off a corner kick. But the block proved to be costly, as he suffered an injury on the play and after attempting to play on, was replaced before halftime by the third-string goalkeeper, Carlos Coronel, with Andre Blake out injured as well.
A scramble in Cincinnati's box towards the end of the first half led to an appeal for a penalty by the Union that went uncalled and Brenden Aaronson's shot sailing over the crossbar as the score was level through 45 minutes.
After the halftime break the Union piled pressure on FC Cincy, and a blast from Kacper Przybylko forced a save from Spencer Richey in the 49th minute. A few minutes later a goal by Fafa Picault was waved off because he was offside on the initial play.
The Union finally found the opener in the 63rd minute, as Olivier Mbaizo's cross was headed in by Przybylko, the striker's second goal in as many games. Seven minutes later, Picault hit paydirt, with a chipped finish after a perfectly timed run into the box, to double the home side's lead and effectively seal the result.
- THE BIG PICTURE: With slumping FC Cincy coming to town, the Union were favored to pick up a win and duly delivered. For a team looking to make the next move up in the MLS pecking order this year, this is the type of game they need to win. On the other side, Cincinnati are on a four-game losing streak (six games winless) and are 341 minutes without a goal. The expansion blues seem to be hitting hard.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Cincinnati made a claim that Przybylko was offside on his goal. Close call - what do you think?
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Spare a thought for Richey, who kept FC Cincy in the game for more than an hour, but the nod goes to Przybylko, whose gradual climb to get into the Union lineup after being signed last year has now led to game-changing goals in two straight games. The Polish striker seems to add a new element to Philadelphia's attack.