John Hackworth can breath a little easier.
The Union’s manager got a vote of confidence from the team’s owners recently, but Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City will count for a lot more.
The Union snapped a nine-game winless streak with the win against Eastern Conference leader Sporting Kansas City.
Philly impressed with some dangerous counter-attacking soccer in a scoreless first half. Danny Cruz was a dangerous presence with his running, and saw a hard shot pushed around the post by Eric Kronberg. KC had more of the possession but didn’t translate the advantage into as many chances as might be expected. Its two good looks at goal were denied be the quick reflexes of Zac MacMath (photo above).
The Union broke the deadlock just after halftime. Christian Maidana’s shot at the near post was saved and deflected into the middle, and Cruz charged into the box, overpowering Seth Sinovic and poking a shot home.
Dom Dwyer equalized with a goal for Sporting in the 80th minute. Running onto a ball from Pablo Nagamura, Dwyer unleashed a powerful shot that flew over MacMath and just under the bar from outside the area.
The tie lasted for just seconds. Cruz’s run down the right found Philly players in the box. Some strong hold-up play from Andrew Wenger drew a swarm of defenders, and shouldering off Lawrence Olum and turning, he found Maidana unmarked and it was a simple shot to restore Philly’s advantage.
Things then got a little more uncomfortable for Philly. Barely 90 seconds after making his Union debut as a time-wasting substitute, Corben Bone was shown a straight red card for a studs-up tackle on Jacob Peterson just before the end of regulation time.
The Union jump to seventh in the East with a 2-5-5 record, but Philly has played more games than any other team in MLS so far this season. Kansas City’s record goes to 5-3-2, although Sporting still leads the Eastern Conference.