Philadelphia Union 2-1 Sporting Kansas City: Pedro Ribeiro’s effort skirts Philly past SKC

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One game in 100 words: Sure, even with the victory over Sporting Kansas City, the  Philadelphia Union won’t have a shot at the MLS Cup this season, but one can admire their resolve to see out a home-field win over KC. At the half, the Union were level with their opponents in shots on goal, and also boasted a better possession number. At the end of the game, it was apparent that Sporting hadn’t brought their best form to the field, while the Union did what was needed to seal an late-season win. This loss keeps Sporting in third place behind both the New England Revolution in second and D.C. United, of course, in the top spot.

Goals

Philadelphia: Brian Brown 45’, Pedro Ribeiro 71’

Sporting KC: Dominic Dwyer 54’ (PK)

Three moments that mattered

45’ — Brian Brown opens it up — Quick, decisive passing just outside the penalty area ultimately opened up a lane for Brian Brown to tap-in the game’s earliest goal. Vincent Nogueira weaved his run to the middle of the pitch and moved the ball forward to Brown, who registered a give-and-go with Cristian Maidana to cap a great sequence of play supplemented by Sporting’s wavering back line shape. Kansas City’s lack of exertion on the defensive side was too clear during this run of play.

54’ — Dwyer draws even — Soony Saad broke free and only had Zach MacMath to beat, and the 23-year-old sprinted forward to cut down the angel as Saad ran hard to his left. The Union goalkeeper slid and thwarted the KC midfielder, though he was called for a foul in the penalty area. Dominic Dwyer calmly slotted home the PK conversion, and at this instant, one may have thought that Sporting would turn this good fortuity in their favor.

71’ — Ribeiro’s game-winner — One-touch ball movement caught the Wizards flat-footed right here. Danny Cruz received the ball yards outside of the box and swung it to Sheanon Williams on the wing. The former North Carolina man slid a pass to a wide-open Christian Maidana, who, in turn, flicked a centering pass to Ribeiro for the close-range finish. All of the sudden, Sporting found themselves down a score.

Lineups

Philadelphia: Zac MacMath; Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Maurice Edu, Raymon Gaddis; Amobi Okugo, Vincent Nogueira (Brian Carroll 74’), Danny Cruz, Cristian Maidana (Jimmy McLaughlin 90’+3’), Andrew Wenger; Brian Brown (Pedro Ribeiro 69’)

Sporting KC: Eric Kronberg; Igor Juliao, Aurelien Collin, Kevin Ellis, Seth Sinovic; Paulo Nagamura, Lawrence Olum, Benny Feilhaber; Sal Zizzo (Jacob Peterson 70’), Dominic Dwyer (Toni 85’), Soony Saad (Jimmy Medranda 78’)