WEEK 14 | Midweek Roundup

New England Revolution vs Atlanta United

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubting that Atlanta United were the better team in this game and they thoroughly deserved to pick up three points. However, missed chance after missed chance gave New England the opportunity to steal a point, and they did so so from the penalty spot.

Atlanta took the lead midway through the first half with a fantastic team goal. Darlington Nagbe played the ball out wide to Gressel who played a perfect pass across the box to Josef Martinez who finished easily. I don’t want to take much away from the goal but the attempt at defending from New England was seriously poor. 

I lost count how many chances Atlanta had to double their lead in the second half. Around the hour-mark, Martinez played a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Ezequiel Barco who couldn’t finish his chance. And that was the theme of the night for Atlanta.

Barco was eventually replaced by Kevin Kratz in the latter stages, and the German’s impact was to give away a penalty in the 86th minute. Teal Bunbury tucked the spot-kick away and punished the visitors for not being out of sight.

Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire

Philadelphia Union made it three home wins on the bounce with a 3-1 victory over Chicago Fire, and they have now found the net ten times in their last three matches at the Talen Energy Stadium.

Philadelphia started brightly but were denied on a couple of occasions by Fire keeper Patrick McLain who stretched to keep out a close-range effort.

Chicago conceded at the worst possible time, but there wasn’t much they could do when Ilsinho provided an outrageous piece of skill before rifling a shot into the top corner on the verge of halftime. 

The Union doubled their advantage five minutes after the break. Borek Dockal curled a perfect cross onto the head of Cory Burke who couldn’t miss from 6-yards out. It was poor defending from the Fire yet again.

Everyone’s favourite, Alan Gordon halved the deficit for the Fire in the 56th minute. Aleksandar Katai linked up with Brandt Bronico who set up Gordon for the easy finish.

Philadelphia were awarded a penalty and a chance to seal the victory in the 86th minute. Corey Burke was brought down in the box before Borek Dockal stepped up to score from 12-yards.

Real Salt Lake vs Houston Dynamo 

Real Salt Lake made it five home wins in a row with a 2-1 victory over fellow Western Conference side Houston Dynamo. The win also extends RSL’s run of just one defeat in their last 15 home games in all competitions.

The home side opened the scoring in the 34th minute when Bofo Saucedo provided a great cross onto the head of Luis Silva who had acres of space to head past Joe Willis in the Dynamo net.

Houston’s equaliser came in the 75th minute and the goal was almost a carbon copy of RSL’s in the first half. Romell Quioto crossed and the unmarked Alberth Elis headed in before demonstrating his trademark ‘La Panterita’ in celebration.

RSL reestablished the lead from a corner in the 82nd minute as the ball fell to MLS veteran Kyle Beckerman following a knockdown from Damir Kreilach. Beckerman took his chance, slotting the ball into the bottom corner and earning his side the W.

LA Galaxy vs FC Dallas 

FC Dallas kept up their fine form last night with a 3-2 road win over LA Galaxy, which saw the side climb up to second in the Western Conference. Dallas found themselves 3-0 up at one stage, before Zlatan scored his brace, but it wouldn’t be enough for the Galaxy.

Ryan Hollingshead gave the visitors the lead in the 33rd minute after being assisted by Mauro Diaz. It was a poor defensive effort from the Galaxy as Hollingshead had far too much time on the ball to pick a corner of the goal.

Dallas doubled their lead in the 40th minute and yet again, it was Mauro Diaz pulling the strings in the build up. He was brought down during the sequence, but his teammates played advantage and were right to do so as Cristian Colman had an easy header at the far post to make it 2-0.

It became 3-0 FC Dallas in the 66th minute as LA Galaxy put on another defensive horror-show. Michael Barrios raced in behind the Galaxy defence and had his effort saved by David Bingham before Carlos Gruezo finished the move.

The frustrated Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the man who made it 3-1, generating hope of a comeback. Zlatan found space in the area after FC Dallas gave the ball away needlessly and he fired into the bottom corner. 

Galaxy were handed even more hope after Dallas’ Cristian Colman was shown a straight red card in the 80th minute. It was given after a confrontation with Michael Ciani, and in my opinion it was a bad call by the referee. There was your usual pushing and shoving, but nothing bad-natured whatsoever.

Zlatan completed his brace in the 7th minute of stoppage time to bring it back to 3-2 but it was too little too late. There wasn’t enough time to find an equaliser, and the Galaxy brought that on themselves by conceding three poor goals at home.

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