A second straight win for Philadelphia put them at fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs race. Atlanta saw their three-match winning streak come to an end and fell to eighth in the East, just outside the postseason places.
Facing a Five Stripes lineup missing Josef Martinez due to knee soreness, Philadelphia dominated possession throughout the first half as they capitalized on several Atlanta mistakes. Meanwhile, Brad Guzan stood his ground and was credited with five saves to keep matters scoreless through the opening 45 minutes.
Atlanta's attack, even with an in-form Ezequiel Barco, struggled to present any challenges to the Union defense. Their best chance of the day came early in the second half on a seeing-eye strike from Marcelino Moreno that eventually found the arms of Andre Blake.
But Philadelphia pulled ahead in the 71st minute through Przybylko, who took a low cross from Jose Martinez and fired it past Guzan to put the Union up 1-0. The Venezuelan midfielder had beaten several Atlanta defenders on the dribble.
It was the only goal of the day, as Philadelphia saw out the victory to climb the standings with nine matches left.
- 71' - PHI - Kacper Przybylko | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: After a three-match winless skid in league play, Jim Curtin’s side looks to be finding their legs a bit as they have strung together back-to-back wins coming off their Concacaf Champions League semifinal exit. This one came in a crucial six-pointer that put the Union in the East's top four. Atlanta, who entered having won seven of their last eight, badly missed the presence of Josef Martinez, whose health will come to the forefront as the final stretch of the season continues.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: With less than 20 minutes left and Philadelphia in control, they finally broke through. Kacper Przybylko found the net thanks to a nice cross and dribble from Jose Martinez.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Kacper Przybylko earns the honors after scoring the lone tally that pushed the Union to victory. After a nine-match goalless streak, the Polish striker has scored three goals and tallied an assist in his last two matches.