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NYCFC Blanked Again as Bedoya Wins It for Union

Philadelphia joins Orlando at top of Group A .... New York City FC .... 0 Philadelphia Union .... 1

MLS: Philadelphia Union at New York City FC
Bedoya shoots and scores the only goal from a narrow angle to give Philadelphia victory.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Certainly it felt strange tuning into a game at 0900 morning time that wasn’t from some far-flung place on the globe, but this was MLS-is-Back, not World Cup or Euros.

On the field, mis-firing NYCFC were blanked yet again, for the fourth consecutive time, as Alejandro Bedoya’s well-struck angled drive found the net to give Philadelphia all three points.

The goal came against the run of second-half play. NYCFC looked the brighter of the teams after the restart, but the Union midfielder’s 63rd min finish took the wind from their sails. Philadelphia probably had just the better of the first-half, and although the game didn’t lack energy or intensity, it was one of few chances.

Little was seen of Maxi Morales mainly down to the midfield presence of newcomer Jose Martinez in Union’s midfield. Martinez added steel and can play. The Venezuelan looks like a more than useful addition to Jim Curtin’s squad. He’ll pick up cards though, and that’s probably what determined his withdrawal with 18 mins left on the clock. He was already on a yellow, and had again been spoken to by referee Armando Villareal.

That was the cue for Philadelphia to go to five at the back. It proved a successful move to ensure the Sons of Ben collected all three points, although they had goalkeeper Andre Blake to thank for keeping New York out in the closing stages.

One save in particular stood out, spreading himself to his left to keep out Marcus Haber’s measured attempt on goal. Haber somehow managed to find acres of space in the box despite Philadelphia’s three centre-backs and really should have scored.

Then Blake came out on top again as Scottish international Gary Mackay-Stevens threatened to break through in the fifth minute of added time.

The Union look like a very solid unit. NYCFC must work out away to find the back of the net.