The Philadelphia Union boosted their chances at a postseason spot with a 2-0 win over visiting New York City FC on Saturday at Talen Energy Stadium.
After an uneventful first half, the Union’s attack broke out in the 57th minute, due in part to some listless marking from New York City. Philadelphia midfielder Borek Dockal had room to send a pass to an also-open Cory Burke on the left side of the box, and Burke finished with a hard shot inside the far post. It was Burke’s team-leading sixth goal of the season, and his sixth goal in his last seven games in all competitions.
Brazilian midfielder Ilsinho delivered some individual brilliance on the second Union goal, carrying the ball into the box himself in the 76th minute and out-maneuvering three different NYCFC defenders. Ilsinho then completed the highlight-reel goal by firing a left-footed shot into the net before another defender closed on him.
Ilsinho had missed Philadelphia’s last six games due to a groin injury. The midfielder entered the game as a 68th-minute substitute for striker David Accam.
New York City’s best chances came early in the game, both off the foot of Maximiliano Moralez. In the second minute, the midfielder’s shot within the box required a big leaping save from Union goalkeeper Andre Blake to knock the chance away. Moralez had another opportunity in the 11th minute, taking a chip pass from Ismael Tajouri-Shradi but lofting the shot wide of the net.
Between Saturday’s result and last weekend’s 3-2 win over the New England Revolution, the Union (10-11-3, 33 points) have now won consecutive matches for just the second time this season. Philadelphia remains in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, creating a bit more distance in the table in front of Montreal and New England.
The Union recorded their sixth clean sheet of the season, while high-scoring NYCFC (14-6-5, 47 points) were shut out for just the third time this season. All six of New York City’s losses have taken place in away games.
New York City defender Ronald Matarrita received a straight red card in the match’s final seconds for a violent kick at Ilsinho. Matarrita will be suspended for at least one game, missing Wednesday’s derby game against the New York Red Bulls.
—Field Level Media