The Philadelphia Union put an end to their three-game losing skid on Saturday night, getting a first-half goal from Fafa Picault and a pair of huge second-half saves from goalkeeper Andre Blake to defeat D.C. United 1-0 at Talen Energy Stadium.
D.C. midfielder Lamar Neagle had a chance to equalize with a penalty kick in the 70th, but Blake stretched fully to his right to deny the low effort.
Confusion erupted in the 75th minute, when referee Sorin Stoica showed D.C. playmaker Luciano Acosta a straight red card after he appeared to kick the Union's Haris Medunjanin while he was on the ground. It looked like D.C. were down to 10 men, but Stoica rescinded the red after conferring with an assistant, letting Acosta walk without showing him any kind of card.
United nearly took advantage of their new life in second-half stoppage time, but another tremendous save from Blake on Neagle's header of an Acosta cross preserved all three points for the Union.
- 31’ – PHI – Fabrice Picault – Watch
- BROTHERLY LOVE: D.C. would’ve been down to 10 men if it weren’t for a remarkable act of sportsmanship from Medunjanin. According to both Medunjanin and a written statement issued by Stoica to Philly.com’s Jonathan Tannenwald after the match, Acosta’s red card was rescinded after Medunjanin told the Stoica that the D.C. playmaker did not kick him while he was on the ground.
- BRICK WALL BLAKE: The Union defense put in a mostly solid shift against D.C.’s troubled attack, but Blake came up huge when Philadelphia needed him most. The reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year made the two huge stops on Neagle and added two more saves – including a stop on a tricky Ian Harkes effort in the first-half – to register his sixth shutout of the year and give Philly a much-needed win.
- FABULOUS FAFA: Picault was easily the most dangerous attacker on the field, scoring his lovely winner in the 31st and using his speed and technical skill to terrorize D.C. on the flanks throughout the match. After starting the year somewhat slowly, the 26-year-old first-year MLS midfielder is clicking into form, with all four of his goals coming in his last seven games.
- PHI: Wednesday, June 28 at New York Red Bulls, US Open Cup (8 pm ET | USsoccer.com)
- DC: Wednesday, June 28 at New England Revolution, US Open Cup (7:30 pm ET | USsoccer.com)