The game in 100 words (or less): Philadelphia got off to a roaring start as a pair of goals in under three minutes, but they couldn’t hold on as D.C. United methodically picked the Union apart for a 3-2 win. Fabian Espindola missed a penalty on the half-hour mark with the home side still down 2-0, but it seemed to galvanize the Eastern Conference leaders as Alvaro Saborio and Fabian Espindola both proved dangerous. The three points helps D.C. keep pace with Columbus, remaining seven points in front. Philadelphia had points in their grasp, but cannot get any further up the table and remain just three points off the bottom.
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Three moments that mattered:
4′ – It would appear the NYCFC defensive line made their way to D.C. quite quickly. A miserable start in front of the home crowd set the tone for the entire first half as CJ Sapong opened the scoring just 22 seconds in, and Sebastian Le Toux followed that up with a second just three minutes later. Sapong’s opener came from the center of the box, where the 26-year-old put Taylor Kemp on his backside and hit the back of the net. Then, Le Toux got the ball on the left flank and completely turned around Chris Korb one-on-one, opening up a cross to the middle that Sapong stepped over, but the ball tucked into the far post anyways.
66′ – Having pulled one back before halftime through Saborio’s first goal for his new club, D.C. United grabs an equalizer through an unlikely source. After a spell of Philadelphia possession, D.C. brought it back down the other end and Espindola ripped a shot from outside the box. Brian Sylvestre saved low, but Nick DeLeon beat Fabinho to the rebound and ripped it home.
79′ – The home side completes the comeback. Just moments after Sapong hit the bar on the other end for Philadelphia, Korb burst down the right and delivered a pinpoint cross – his second assist of the match – to the edge of the six-yard box, and Espindola rose above Raymon Gaddis to power a header into the back of the net.
D.C. United – Dykstra; Kemp, Birnbaum, Korb, Boswell; Arnaud, DeLeon, Rolfe (Aguilar 76′), Kitchen; Saborio (Arrieta 81′), Espindola.
Goals – Saborio 37′, DeLeon 66′, Espindola 79′
Philadelphia – Sylvestre; Edu, White (Aristeguieta 80′), Gaddis, Fabinho; Carroll, Maidana (Nogueria 80′), Le Toux, Mbu, Pheffer (Fred 69′); Sapong.
Goals – Sapong 1′, Le Toux 4′