Thursday, July 05, 2012

Union edge Galaxy behind Farfan

CARSON, Ca. – Second-year midfielder Michael Farfan netted a game-winner in the 95th minute as the Philadelphia Union earned a late 2-1 victory over the LA Galaxy at Home Depot Center Wednesday night.

Farfan also assisted on Jack McInerney's 46th minute back heel goal in the 46th minute as the Union beat the Galaxy for the first time in five tries.

The loss was the Galaxy's second consecutive defeat while the Union returned to the victory column after a setback in Houston the weekend.

The Galaxy came out full throttle and placed immense pressure on the Union's backline and 'keeper Zac MacMath from the start. Robbie Keane had three chances in the first 25 minutes but was felled by two goal-line clearances and a save by MacMath. Hector Jimenez also had a shot turned away by the Philadelphia 'keeper.

The Union weathered the storm, and around the 20th minute began to look a bit more composed, passing the ball around more than they had

Nonetheless, the match seemed headed to intermission in a scoreless draw, but a bit of individual brilliance changed that. Farfan skinned Lopes down the right side of the penalty area, got to the touchline and pulled a cross back toward goal. It found a streaking Jack McInerney, who got to the near post before AJ DeLaGarza and hit a backheel that snuggled just inside the back post for the 1-0 lead.

When the Galaxy took the field in search of an equalizer, Gonzalez's night ended as Sean Franklin replaced him, sliding De La Garza back to central defense.

Philadelphia took a more defensive approach in the second half but did well to keep the Galaxy under wraps initially. LA had another flurry in front of the goal on the hour as Lopes rattled the crossbar and Juninho's follow-up attempt was headed out by Amobi Okugo

It wasn't until the 73rd minute that the Galaxy nabbed the equalizer. Landon Donovan fed Todd Dunivant on the left side of the area, giving the left back time and space to slip a ball across goal. Somehow the ball made its way through a group of players and Chad Barrett was there to tuck it in, his first of the season

With LA pushing for the winner, Philly started to find room on the counter. Second-half substitute Antoine Hoppenot nearly scored on a giveaway in the 77th minute as Juninho failed to collect a ball, but was stoned by Saunders.

The veteran ‘keeper could do nothing 18 minutes later, however. Sub Lionard Pajoy held Franklin off along the touchline, then hit a backheel into space for Farfan. The attacking midfielder dribbled into the area and, using DeLaGarza as a screen, beat Saunders to the far post for the 2-1 final

Philadelphia (5-9-2, 17 points) are now just one point back of the Montreal Impact for ninth place in the Eastern Conference with three games in hand. They’re back in action on Sunday when they host Toronto FC before hosting Sporting KC in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal match Wednesday night at PPL Park.
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