Philadelphia Union 2, Orlando City SC 1 | 2016 MLS Match Recap

The Philadelphia Union left it until nearly the end, but they came away from Friday's match against Orlando City SC at Talen Energy Stadium with a 2-1 win.

Philadelphia got a quick start in the game, as C.J. Sapong capitalized on Rafael Ramos' poor clearance attempt of Keegan Rosenberry's cross back across the box and Sapong slotted the ball into goal in just the second minute. The game stayed quite tight, and Orlando City looked to grab the tying goal, something they got just a few minutes before halftime as Adrian Winter finished the breakaway chance off Kevin Molino's pass.

The game appeared destined to be a draw, but Tranquillo Barnetta stepped up to take a free kick in the 90th minute, and beat Joe Bendik to give the Union the lead and in the end, the victory.

Box score

Three Things

  1. BARNETTA'S GOLAZO - FAIR OR FOUL? The goal itself to win the game for Philly was a beauty, as Barnetta came off the bench in the second half and helped hand the Union the win. But some contend, including MLS Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle, that the goal shouldn't have counted. Why? Several of Barnetta's teammates appeared to line up behind the wall, running toward the wall as the ball was being kicked. Were they in that position trying to unsight the goalkeeper? Whether the goal should have been chalked off for offside is sure to be a talking point coming out of the game.
  2. LIONS' LATE SUBS: Former Brazilian international Julio Baptista got his first MLS minutes for Orlando City in this game, but he didn't enter the game as a substitute until the 91st minute. Lions coach Adrian Heath opted to use both of his substitutions on the night in second-half stoppage time, and some will surely wonder about the strategy used. Was he trying to give the starting XI a chance to get in the game? Unsure about his options on the bench? Of course, coaches are under no obligation to use all three subs and at any particular time, but in this case, the subs, including Baptista, didn't get much of a chance to make an impact on the game.
  3. LATE LATE HEROICS: What may be lost in the aftermath of this game is that Winter nearly tied up the game a second time, with a blast inside the box in stoppage time. But Andre Blake, continuing the strong form he's shown in goal for Philly this season, made the game-clinching save on the shot.

Next up

  • PHI: Saturday, April 16 at Seattle Sounders (10 pm ET, MLS Live)
  • ORL: Sunday, April 17 vs. New England Revolution (3:30 pm ET, ESPN, MLS Live)