Drilling down on: at Philadelphia 2, New England 1

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Man of the Match: Jack McInerney  was a major factor on both second half goals. His burst through the left side created the Union penalty kick. And his stoppage time header for the game-winner was beautifully clinical, a snap-down header at  the far post off Sheanon Williams’ swell delivery.

Packaged for take-away:

  • Freddy Adu was back in the Union starting 11 following last week’s unexplained absence; he played along the left, rather than in her preferred, central area. (Later, he did move into a central role.)
  • Shalrie Joseph’s exclusion was the most interesting starting lineup notation on the Revs’ side. His fall in 2012 has been painful to watch.
  • We know this about Saer Sene’s opening goal: that was one nasty, swerving shot. But it’s hard to say who in Philly’s 4-2-3-1 should have been nearer to the New England striker, who had way too much time and space to line up his blistering effort.
  • Sene may look like a striker, but he was wonderfully effective as a right-sided attacker Sunday at PPL Park. Other than the first-half goal, Sene was dependable in possession and frequently creative with it too, with clever heel flicks that put teammates into good positions. He also cut through the Union defense in places, like when he put Shalrie Joseph clean through in the second half.
  • I know there may be more Zac MacMath bashing; the young goalkeeper certainly has allowed some stinkers this year. But in my opinion, that shot would have undone a lot of goalkeepers. Plenty of experienced ones, too.
  • Stephen McCarthy had two big, bold, important tackles in the game’s first 20 minutes as Union attackers broke through.
  • When McCarthy was booked for hooking the speedy Antoine Hoppenot off the ball, it left both New England center backs with a caution after just 38 minutes. That’s a long time for both CBs to drag around a caution.
  • New England played a high line of restraint, which choked off the space for playmaker Michael Farfan. Result: a lot of the first half from Philly’s side was dropping balls behind the visitors’ back four, many of them aimed at the speedy Hoppenot.
  • Adu was a non-factor in the first 45. He was slightly more influential after the break, but only slightly.
  • Sene was denied a legit penalty kick appeal in the 49th; Sheanon Williams stopped Sene’s close-range effort with his hand. Referee Edvin  Jurisevic needed help from his assistant on that side but didn’t get it.
  • Final total on missed PK calls: Probably two for New England and one for Philly. That’s not counting the one improperly whistled on New England.
  • Benny Feilhaber had a little hissy fit when Sene didn’t feed his hard run into the 18. On the one hand, he was probably right. But is that what a team leader wants to show everyone?
  • Looking for a big change, Union boss John Hackworth shifted  into a 3-4-3 for  the second half. But identifying the defensive assignments seemed elusive, so the result was more chances for New England until the 58th minute penalty kick …
  • … which really wasn’t a penalty kick. Kevin Alston tugged on Jack McInerney’s jersey, but it was definitely outside the penalty area. Again, Jurisevic  could have used from help from his assistant.
  • More patient possession gave Philadelphia more opportunities, but lacked of aggression in feeding balls from the right side once they had broken through was costly.
  • New England goalkeeper Matt Reis with the ball at his feet was an adventure in a couple of places.