C.J. Sapong struck for a second-half hat trick as the Philadelphia Union snapped a 15-match regular season winless streak by defeating the New York Red Bulls, 3-0, Saturday night at Talen Energy Stadium.
Moments after being robbed by Luis Robles, who reached back with his right hand to parry his headed attempt away, Sapong broke the scoreless draw. Sapong took advantage of a misplayed ball by Aaron Long, ran at the defender and put his deflected shot off Long and in to give the Union a 1-0 lead in the 74th minute.
Andre Blake dived to his right to get a hand on a shot by Bradley Wright-Phillips at the edge of the six in the 80th minute and moments later Sapong headed in his second after Chris Pontius headed Fabian Herbers’ cross back in front of goal.
Sapong put the finishing touches on his first career hat trick from the penalty spot in the 85th minute after Damien Perrinelle handled a cross inside the box.
- THE STREAK IS OVER: It was 252 days ago when the Philadelphia Union last won, beating Sporting Kansas City, 2-0, at Talen Energy Stadium on August 27, 2016. What followed was 15 agonizing regular season games without a win, but the Union made sure they wouldn't break the mark set by the Colorado Rapids (2014-15) and Real Salt Lake (2005-06) who are tied with 18 straight games without a victory.
- ANOTHER STREAK CONTINUES: The Red Bulls have now lost five consecutive road games since opening the season with a 2-1 win at Atlanta and have been outscored, 13-2, during that stretch. A three-game homestand for Jesse Marsch's side couldn't come at a better time.
- CUE THE DJ FOR CJ: What a time for C.J. Sapong to net the first hat trick of his career. All three goals came in the final 16 minutes as the Union celebrated a victory for the first time since last August. Sapong, whose hat trick was the third in Union history, increased his season total to seven goals, tying him with Houston's Erick Torres for the early Golden Boot race.