CHESTER, Pa. -- It was another lifeless night for the Union offense, as the hosts fell to the league’s top team, Atlanta United, 2-0, on Saturday at Talen Energy Stadium.
The chances were there but the finish wasn’t. Despite 18 shots, the lowest scoring team in the Eastern Conference remained that way, falling to 6-9-3 for their fourth loss in their last five games.
Meanwhile, Atlanta United moved to an MLS-leading 12-4-4. Brad Guzan finished with the three-save shutout.
• It was a battle between the highest and lowest scoring teams in the conference. But you wouldn’t know it from the first half. The back-and-forth action made for an entertaining show, as the teams combined for 17 shots and eight corners.
• It was a game marred by missed chances. The Union’s most potent opportunity of the game came in the 55th minute, when Alejandro Bedoya chipped the ball to himself down the right side. With an opening, he sent a perfect seam pass to Borek Dockal, who’s attempted redirection went high.
• That miss would cost them. Two minutes later, the Union were caught, when Mark McKenzie was beat on a long ball by offensive dynamo Miguel Almiron, who was clipped by Andre Blake in a race for the ball. The in box foul drew a penalty kick for Atlanta United.
Penalty to Atlanta. Yellow to Blake pic.twitter.com/fcZzrZbPfv— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) July 8, 2018
•Josef Martinez finished the play, calmly playing his penalty kick to the right of Blake for a 1-0 Atlanta United advantage. It was his 18th goal this season.
• But it wasn’t all Blake’s fault. He was the best player on the field for the Union. Including a full-extension diving stop in the opening moments of the second half, Blake finished with six saves.
• Looking for life, Union manager Jim Curtin tapped forward Cory Burke to replace C.J. Sapong in the 64th minute. It was another tough outing for Sapong, who finished with no shots on goal. He’s registered just one shot on goal in his last nine games. He’s scoreless in his last 11.
• Atlanta United doubled its lead in the 76th with a tic-tac passing play that undressed the Union defense. Hector Villalba scored from Almiron and Martinez.
Villalba makes it 2-0 Atlanta pic.twitter.com/MgPdRVgLCR— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) July 8, 2018
• Next up for the Union, they hit the road on short rest to face the Chicago Fire on Wednesday at Toyota Park.