Ghana midfielder CJ Sapong scored two for Philadelphia Union to light up the scoreboard on Saturday in front of an electric crowd of 17,880 on Sons of Ben Appreciation Night at Talen Energy Stadium in a 3-1 win over FC Dallas.
With the victory, the Union are now 7-1-0 in their last eight regular-season matches at Talen Energy Stadium.
The Union were firing on all cylinders from the moment the whistle blew to start the match. Philadelphia dominated tempo throughout the first 15 minutes of the match, and their hard work came to fruition in the 17th minute thanks to beautiful teamwork.
The sequence started after Chris Pontius did most of the grunt work, keeping possession in the box from the FCD defense. After a deflection towards Haris Medunjanin, the most spectacular goal of the season began to take form. Medunjanin delivered a ball to Ilsinho, who sent the ball right back to Medunjanin with a nifty back-heel flick.
Medunjanin came streaking in the box, drawing the attention of FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz. The Bosnian then delivered a ball across the box to a sliding CJ Sapong, who buried his 11th goal of the season to give Philadelphia the 1-0 lead in the 17th minute.
Five minutes later, the Union found their touch again. This time it was Ilsinho doing the finishing. After a long throw-in by Chris Pontius on the far side of the pitch, the toss was cleared by the FCD defense, but the ball fell directly to the foot of Ilsinho, who struck like a viper and found the back of the net to give Philadelphia the 2-0 lead.
FC Dallas had their chances to get on the board, but McCarthy stood tall. After the first 45, the Union retained their 2-0 lead. Philadelphia scored their third and final goal thanks to the hard work of Ilsinho. After Sapong made a run into the box, he found a streaking Ilsinho who put a shot on frame but was denied by the keeper.
The shot attempt was not corralled and as the ball sat there for a split second, Ilsinho poked a pass to Sapong, who was following the play. Sapong found himself all alone and pounced on the opportunity, solidifying the brace and giving Philadelphia a comfortable 3-0 lead in the 68th minute.
The match also included the first use of Video Review in MLS history, as FCD’s Maxi Urruti scored a goal in the 80th minute. Ricardo Salazar signaled to initiate a review and the goal was disallowed due to a foul committed by Cristian Colman on Union goalkeeper McCarthy.
FC Dallas got on the board late with a stoppage time goal from Michael Barrios, but Philadelphia held firm to secure the 3-1 victory. The Union will return to action next week in a later than usual 8 p.m. home start against Montreal Impact on Comcast SportsNet.
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