The weather was cloudy, overcast, and in the mid 70’s at the start of the match on Saturday evening as the Philadelphia Union hosted the Chicago Fire at PPL Park.
The Union held possession for a majority of the first half, garnering the only first half shot on goal. The Fire managed to test the Philadelphia’s defense on a few occasions, but the Union midfield controlled the flow of the first half.
The second half started with a fast pace from a motivated Union squad as they tested Chicago goal-keeper Jon Conway early and often. Union forward Sebastian Le Toux cleaned up a poor defensive clearance by the Fire, and nearly put in the first goal, between Conway’s legs, but was denied by the post.
In the 64th minute, following a free kick, Micheal Farfan scored the first goal of the game, and his career, putting the Union up 1-0 . However, the Fire responded with a gritty goal from Dominic Oduro, just 3 minutes later. Following continuous pressure from the Union mid-fielders and forwards, Carlos Ruiz scored the go-ahead goal. The score came on a 74th minute blooper that took a nose dive just under the cross bar, securing the win for Philadelphia. It was a furious second half.
This is the first game all season in which the Union have scored more than one goal. The win came much to the delight of the Sons of Ben and the rest of the Union fans who cheered wildly in the stands.
With the three points, the Union are now the #1 team in the East and have stretched their home unbeaten streak to seven games. The Union play their next three games on the road including a friendly match against Reading United AC sandwiched between MLS matches with Toronto and Colorado. The Union host two friendly matches in July against Everton (PPL Park) and Real Madrid (Lincoln Financial Field). Philadelphia plays their next home game on June 11th when they host Real Salt Lake at 4pm.
[photo credits: Christian Hafer]
Full photo slide-show below: