Philadelphia Union II is back on the winning track following a 2-1 victory over New York City FC II at Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
Chris Donovan and Brandan Craig led the way for the hosts, who registered their second home win of the season. New York City FC II defender Steven Turnbull pulled one back in stoppage time for the visitors, but it was too late to spark any thoughts of a comeback.
Union II’s victory also marked their second of the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season. The team now stands in the third spot of the Eastern Conference standings with 9 points.
In a duel between two of the top offensives in the Eastern Conference, a shower of goals was anticipated by many. However, the first half was nervy as they felt each other out. Union II’s Donovan missed an open opportunity in the 27th minute when a left-footed attempt went wide but made amends when he broke the deadlock in the 50th minute, though.
Craig's goal came in the 75th to seemingly slam the door shut with a stylish direct free kick. The wonder strike was good for Craig's MLS NEXT Pro account opener. The 2-0 score gave Union II peace of mind, but their opponents kept pushing forward.
The Story: Union II slows NYC II's scoring machine down
Entering today's match, the team from New York lead the league in scoring with 15 goals, including 10 in the last two games. They managed to get a score from Turnbull, but his goal was too late to spark a comeback, as it was deep into stoppage time. The defeat ends NYCFC II's short-lived win streak at two; however, with the late goal, NYC II has scored in every match they have played this season.
The Philadelphia Union II defense has to be given a lot of credit; led partly by goalkeeper Matthew Freese's six saves, they contained NYCFC II's relentless attack. Freese had a monumental first-half stoppage-time save that helped keep the team from falling behind on the scoreboard and maintaining their confidence.
Union II defender Craig's beautiful free-kick goal and his stoppage-time line-saving goal helped seal the deal for the home team.