Sports

Union aim for third straight win against United

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Union will shoot for a third consecutive win on Saturday when the club heads south on I-95 to RFK Stadium to tangle with Eastern Conference rivals D.C. United.

After starting the season with just one win in their first 11 matches, Philadelphia has enjoyed a bit of renaissance with consecutive victories over two top teams in the East -- a 1-0 win over United on May 17 and a surprising 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls last week.

The scoreless deadlock was broken in the 57th minute as Cristian Maidana fired it on net from the top of the area and Vincent Nogueira ghosted through to deflect it past New York goalkeeper Luis Robles, putting the visitors ahead.

The Union struck again five minutes later on the counter-attack. The play was started when left back Fabinho and Maidana played a quick give-and-go to allow Fabinho to get some space on the left wing.

Fabinho cut it back and slid it across the box to the back post for a wide- open C.J. Sapong, who tapped it into the empty net, stunning the 20,000-plus in attendance.

New York continued to heap pressure on the Philadelphia goal, but fell short of ideas in the attacking third in the final 10 minutes as the Union hung on to hand the Red Bulls their second loss of the season.

The result marked Philadelphia's first-ever win at Red Bull Arena.

"It's a big accomplishment," said Union manager Jim Curtin. "It's been six times we've come here and haven't won. It's a tough place to play against a very good, well-coached team, a top team in the East, a team that high presses all over the field. I thought we did a good job of getting through that first fifteen minutes and then I thought we got it together in the second half and were able to get the goals."

United, meanwhile, returns home on short rest after suffering a 1-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Wednesday.

United fell behind early in the first half when Max Urruti took a right- footed shot from the left side of the box and found the back of the net to give the Timbers a 1-0 lead.

As for United their best chance came in the last minute of the first half when Conor Doyle's shot from the center of the box just went over the crossbar.

DC United came into the second half putting pressure on the Portland defense, the best chance came in the 77th minute from Facundo Coria whose shot was saved by Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey to preserve the clean sheet for the home side.

"Overall, very pleased with the group's effort and for a large stretch of the game. Unfortunately you have to weather a little bit of a storm when you come here and I didn't think we were up to the physicality and the speed that they were early in the game and ends up costing us the goal Again, overall I think it's a tough result and we don't like to lose but whether it's guys getting experience out there in this type of atmosphere against a good team, whether it's getting some guys that haven't had minutes in a while, we're better for this. I think there's a lot of positives tonight."