Saturday, March 17, 2018

Philadelphia Union 2 Orlando City 1: Late Barnetta stunner seals victory

SoccerNews in MLS 9 Apr 2016


A stunning free-kick from Tranquillo Barnetta in the dying stages sealed a 2-1 home win for Philadelphia Union over Orlando City on Friday. 

Philadelphia started brightly and took an early lead through C.J. Sapong but Adrian Winter’s goal on the stroke of half-time saw the scores locked at 1-1 going into the break.

With both sides cancelling each other out in the second half it appeared the game was heading for a stalemate before Barnetta’s free-kick found the top-right corner to secure the three points at Talen Energy Stadium. 

The win moved Philadelphia to the top of the MLS Eastern Conference, one point ahead of Orlando, who were handed their first defeat of the 2016 season. 

Sapong gave Philadelphia the lead inside two minutes – his third goal in as many games – tapping home from close range after a botched clearance from Orlando defender Rafael Ramos. 

The home side appeared to be heading into the half-time break with the advantage but Winter found an equaliser with a well-taken goal in the 43rd minute. 

The second half was a fairly even contest between the two but it could have been a different story had Philadelphia keeper not denied Winter scoring a second in the 49th minute courtesy of a brilliant save. 

With the game seemingly headed for a 1-1 draw it took some dead-ball magic from 30-year-old Swiss Barnetta, who fired a free-kick in the 90th minute off the underside of the crossbar past Orlando goalkeeper Joseph Bendik, sealing the win for the hosts. 

Philadelphia’s next test comes in the form of Seattle Sounders next Saturday, while Orlando City host New England the following day.


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