From the halls of Foxboro Stadium…

Union Steals Three

Posted by tonybiscaia on August 29, 2010

By Chris Rosa

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.- After going goal-less through the first 81 minutes, the Philadelphia Union seized a pair of late goals to steal a 2-1 victory over an undermanned New England Revolution Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

Ilija Stolica gave the Revolution the early lead in the 31st minute with his second goal of the season. But after Cory Gibbs was awarded a red card in the 40th minute, the Union took advantage late in the second frame, when Jack McInerny (82′) and Justin Mapp (90’+2′) found the back of the net in the waning minutes to give the guests only their second road victory of the season.

“It’s frustrating. It’s disheartening,” said Revolution midfield Pat Phelan.”This MLS season for us has been a difficult one, and we’re in a difficult situation right now.”

Before the situation became difficult, the Revolution set the tone in the opening minutes when Marko Perovic plunged into the box and tested Chris Seitz with a early look on goal.

The pressure continued when Perovic dribbled down the right and sent a cross to Stolica, who’s header went well wide of the the near post in the 24th minute.

Shortly thereafter, New England got physical when Darrius Barnes and Shalrie Joseph both upended a pair of Philly players within minutes of each other, sending the message that the boys in blue were not going to give an inch on their own turf.

After dominating play for much of the match, the Revolution capitalized in the 31st minute. Joseph chested down a Perovic corner, then flicked it off Union defender Danny Califf before it bounced forward to Stolica, who left footed it through for the opening goal.

“I just wanted to get my body behind it and bring it down,” said Joseph. “Then it took a funny bounce and (Califf) tried to clear it and it fell for Stolica and he got a great one-time finish.”

Moments later, it appeared as if another New England goal was imminent when Sainey Nyassi blasted back-to back-shots on frame in the 36th minute.

All was going the way of the Revolution until the 40th minute, when Cory Gibbs charged into Eduardo Coudet at the halfway line and was immediately shown the red card, and thus the home side were doomed to ten men for the remainder.

“It was wrong, just wrong,” said Revolution manager Steve Nicol. “The last three games have been huge games for us, within the context of our season. In two of those last three games, the outcome has been affected by the officials. And I don’t think there’s any argument about that.”

Despite the controversial call, the Revolution bravely withstood a dangerous Union attack that nearly saw the guests net two goals in the 64th minute when Sebastien LeToux and Migeul Orozco Fiscal tested second-year keeper Bobby Shuttleworth with a pair of shots.

Although the Union sustained the attack for the better part of the frame, they came up short through the 80th minute, due in large part to the stout defending by the Revolution backs and the performance of Shuttleworth.

But with less than ten minutes before time expired, Philadelphia finally broke through and captured the equalizer when Mapp, a late match substitute, lofted a ball ahead to McInerney, who poked it past Shuttleworth only eight minutes before time.

Hoping to salvage a single point, the Revolution desperately tried to hold on and contain the insurgency.

It wasn’t to be. Scrambling to keep the Union forwards in front of them, the Revolution let Mapp sneak into the area, where he took a pass from LeToux and galvanized the game-winner, as the Union pilfered three points from their conference rivals.

“I just wanted to get out there and help the team,” said Mapp. “We had a goal by Jack (McInerney) and it was a good fight for the guys all around. I think that we definitely deserved to win in the end.”

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