Ilsinho opened his MLS scoring account in fine style on Saturday, striking twice for the Philadelphia Union to spearhead a thorough 3-0 dispatching of D.C. United at Talen Energy Stadium.
United were perhaps unlucky to concede two first-half penalty kicks, both on surging runs into the box, first by Chris Pontius and later by Ilsinho. But the hosts were good value for their 2-0 halftime lead. Roland Alberg finished the first PK to continue his hot scoring form, while Ilsinho calmly tucked home the spot kick he'd won himself.
D.C.'s hopes of a second-half rally were hammered when Ilsinho blasted home a C.J. Sapong knockdown just moments after the end of the intermission. It took several sterling saves from Bill Hamid to stop the final result from being even more one-sided, as Philly continued to boss the game down the stretch.
The Union would finish the night with a man advantageUnited center back Kofi Opare's rough night came to a premature end when he saw his second yellow card for a rugged challenge on Pontius.
- 20’ – PHI – Roland Alberg (PK)
- 37’ – PHI – Ilsinho (PK)
- 47’ – PHI – Ilsinho (C.J. Sapong, Roland Alberg)
- Full box score
- Watch highlights
1. LICENSE TO ILL-SINHO: Philly's new Brazilian trickster has quietly become one of the greatest shows in MLS, routinely pulling off highlight-reel flicks, spins and megs. It makes the Union a much more unpredictable team in the attacking third, and on Saturday he finally made it count on the scoresheet with his first MLS goal, a milestone that soon became a brace to boot. Ilsinho is must-see TV right now, and he helps the Union look like a playoff contender.
2. YOU AGAIN: Chris Pontius wasn't quite as spectacular as his aforementioned teammate, but he was just as useful in bagging this result. The man D.C. fans once revered as "Party Boy" burned his former club on this occasion, torturing Opare on the dribble to earn Philly's first PK and later draw the second yellow that put the game to bed.
3. BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD? United seemed to have found their feet in recent weeks with Ben Olsen's new 4-1-4-1 tactical wrinkle. But he tweaked his starting XI for this one and nothing seemed to work. Alhaji Kamara struggled to fill the No. 9 role alone up top, Nick DeLeon and Jared Jeffrey lacked chemistry in central midfield and the back line couldn't cope with the Union's pressing and movement. Will Lucho Acosta return to the lineup next week?