July 21, 2016
Union Cup quest ends with PK loss to Revolution
ALLSTON, Mass.-- Andre Blake proved his All-Star mettle once again.
|Andre Blake turned in a strong performance in goal for the Union, but Je-Vaughn Watson (#15) scored in regulation and pks to help the New England Revolution win Wednesday's US Open Cup quarterfinal.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
It just wasn’t enough to propel the Philadelphia Union in the U.S. Open Cup.
Despite Blake’s five saves, several in spectacular fashion, the Union couldn’t score and were ousted in the quarterfinal round of the U.S. Open Cup.
Je-Vaughn Watson’s penalty kick wound up being the game-winner as the New England Revolution defeated the Philadelphia Union (1-1, 4-2 PKs) in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night at Harvard University’s Jordan Field.
“He’s good at soccer, I think that’s clear,” Union head coach Jim Curtin told reporters about Blake. “He’s a great goalkeeper. You see it week in and week out, he’s special. He can make a great save that can win you a game.”
Watson also scored in regulation for the Revolution, who are in search of their second U.S. Open Cup title, having won in 2007.
Fabian Herbers scored for the Union, who were hoping to advance to the semifinals for the third straight season. The Union were ousted in the championship match in each of the past two seasons to Seattle Sounders FC and Sporting Kansas City.
In fact, Sporting Kansas City upended the Union in PKs in the final last year.
Blake played at such a high level once again and was the biggest reason why the Union even had a chance to advance.
“I don’t like when he makes saves to be honest, because I feel there’s things we can do to prevent,” Curtin told reporters. “At the same time, when we do get broken down, he’s there to bail us out. He’s playing in top form. There’s no surprise that he is an All-Star this year and will be starting against Arsenal. I’m happy for him, obviously. But we can do a better job of preventing so he’s not so busy.”
In the ninth minute, Blake came out of his area to clear a ball as Kei Kamara approached.
Kamara had another good chance in the 11th minute but struck the ball wide of the net.
The Union secured a free kick just outside the top of box after C.J. Sapong was taken down. Roland Alberg lined up for the strike and had the ball deflect through the wall and out of bounds.
In the 16th minute, Fabinho dribbled strongly down the line and sent a cross to Ilsinho whose header was blocked away.
Blake stymied Kamara in the 27th minute with a reaction save right in front.
Ray Gaddis made a nifty pass into the box to Tribbett, but the rookie defender couldn’t convert in the 35th minute.
On New England’s next possession, it quickly moved the ball down the pitch and Steve Neumann barely missed by the far post.
The Revolution went ahead 1-0 in the 44th minute when Watson set up off a free kick and worked his way free next to the Union’s wall. It was Watson’s first goal for the Revolution.
New England was aggressive down the stretch and took a 1-0 advantage into the locker room. The Revolution led 8-3 in shots and held 53 percent of the possession.
Tranquillo Barnetta was able to head Alberg’s corner kick in the 47th minute, but Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton was in good position to make the save.
Kamara nearly scored in the 48th minute when he headed a cross just wide of Blake.
Alberg lined up for a free kick in the 60th minute and Knighton anticipated the shot and intercepted the ball in the box.
Ilsinho worked free through two New England defenders in the 61st minute, but Watson did enough to hit it out of bounds and break up the scoring threat.
Alberg had a good opportunity in the 64th minute when Scott Caldwell stepped in and came up with a big block.
Curtin decided on a double substitution in the 65th minute as Sebastien Le Toux and Herbers came on for Chris Pontius and Alberg.
Blake made another stellar save in the 69th minute as he tipped Kamara’s shot over the goal.
Curtin used his third and final substitute in the 76th minute with Leo Fernandes coming on for Barnetta.
Herbers equalized in the 90th minute just as the fourth official signaled for three minutes of stoppage time. Le Toux waited for Herbers to get open and recorded an assist on the tying goal.
The match wound up tied at 1 and was headed for extra time.
The ball bounced around in the box in the 95th minute and landed directly at Fernandes’ feet in the box. Fernandes took a clean shot but Knighton was able to make the save.
In the 104th minute, Ilsinho ripped a strike on goal which grazed the crossbar and went out of bounds. It didn’t seem as if Knighton ever saw the shot from the Brazilian international.
Blake was unbelievable in the 105th minute with a double save on Andrew Farrell and Kelyn Rowe. After the first save, Rowe seemed to have a wide open goal before Blake stretched out and denied the shot.
Rowe curled a shot over the crossbar in the 119th minute after Lee Nguyen sent a crisp pass in front.
The two clubs went scoreless through a pair of 15-minute overtime sessions so it was time for penalty kicks.
Nguyen, Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves and Watson converted PKs for New England while Caldwell missed wide.
Ilsinho and Herbers scored for the Union while Le Toux and Sapong each had PKs saved by Knighton.
The Union are still looking for the first trophy in franchise history.
“It’s difficult for us,” Curtin told reporters. “Our locker room is upset and it’s tough. There are only two trophies you can win in this country and we’re out of the running for one of them.”
The Union have a quick turnaround with a trip north of the border to face the Montreal Impact Saturday night.