First-half strikes edge Philadelphia Union past New York City FC

Philadelphia Union maintained their 100% home record this season after two first-half goals edged them past New York City FC at PPL Park.

David Villa struck the bar midway through the opening 45 minutes, and just one minute later Chris Pontius tapped home from close range for the games opener.

The home side’s advantage was doubled four minutes from the break when C.J. Sapong found the bottom corner, and the result takes Union top of the Eastern Conference.

Both sides suffered defeat in Week 6 and would have looked at this game to bounce back to get three valuable points, and it was the hosts who went close early in the game.

Keegan Rosenberry headed Tranquillo Barnetta’s deep corner powerfully at goal, but Josh Saunders got down low to push the ball away from goal.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Villa hits bar before Pontius breaks deadlock

Villa found the roof of the net with an effort shortly after, and came within inches of putting his side ahead in the game on 25 minutes.

Steven Mendoza burst down the flank and played the ball across the box for the former Spain international, who lashed his shot against the bar.

To Patrick Viera’s sides’ despair, they were made to rue that missed chance as Philadelphia went down the other end with the next attack and broke the deadlock.

Sebastien Le Toux’s cross wasn’t cleared properly, and after Barnetta dinked the ball over the sliding defender, he put the ball across for Pontius, who tapped into the net form close range.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Union go two-up in the game

The hosts continued to threat and just before half-time, their determination was rewarded with a second goal in the game.

Sapong firstly headed the long free-kick down to the feet of Le Toux, whose shot was then helped on into the bottom corner by the forward.

After the break, the visitors came out the blocks, and their first opening came on 51 minutes, when Villa headed Ronald Matarrita’s cross wide of the post from an unmarked position.

It was an edgy second-half, but the Union maintained their two-goal lead, and Andre Blake’s braveness, rushing out and collecting Villa’s through-ball at the feet of Khiry Shelton, summed up their brilliant performance.

City have two games in three days to come

The Union welcome the San Jose Earthquakes to PPL Park next Saturday, as they look to maintain their 100% record in front of their own fans this season.

Viera’s side have a quick turnaround with two games in the space of three days next week, the first of which comes when Montreal Impact come to Yankee Stadium on Thursday.

Vancouver Whitecaps travel to New York for City’s second home game of the week on Saturday, and they have a chance to go ahead and get points from both games.

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