Philly Sports Live

Zac MacMath Leads Union to 1-0 Win Over Fire

MacMath Fire

Yes you read that right, despite the 1-0 win, it was Union net minder Zac MacMath who helped lead Philadelphia to victory on Saturday afternoon.  If it wasn’t for his six-save performance on the day, Chicago, who were more offensively potent throughout the match, would have easily won.  Instead, it was the Union walking out of the Windy City with their fourth win of the season, handing Chicago their sixth loss.

Very early on, the match played out pretty evenly, but it didn’t take long for Chicago to take over the possession game.  The Fire worked the Union defense hard for the first half, specifically, Bakary Soumaré, who tried hard to find his rhythm, making his first start of the season.  Despite the constant attack from Chicago, Zac Macmath stood strong and came up with some key grabs and saves, keeping the Union in the game when the half time whistle blew.

Come the second half, it was much of the same, with a few key exceptions.  For one thing, Soumaré seemed to find his footing, and played a monster second half defensively at center back, helping to protect MacMath from a couple of would-be chances from Chicago.  With the defense playing strong and MacMath keeping the Fire offense at bay, manager John Hackworth elected to up the attack with a couple of substitutions, a risky move that ended up paying off.

Sebastien Le Toux would come on for Danny Cruz in the 56th, and Antoine Hoppenot would follow in the 62nd, coming on for Conor Casey.  Both moves ended up paying dividends, but it was Seba Le Toux who would pick up the assist on Jack McInerney’s 75th minute goal.  Le Toux eyed McInerney making a run and lobbed it his way, and after a soft first touch, McInerney slotted it past Fire keeper Sean Johnson for his league-leading seventh goal of the season.

With 25 minutes left, Chicago continued to fire (much pun intended) back at the Union, but Zac MacMath put up a veteran-like performance in only his second year as the U’s starting keeper, earning him Man of the Match honors.

It was definitely an ugly win for the Union, but they’ll take it as the win, at least temporarily, that moves them into fifth place.  Columbus, who had the same record as the Union going into their match this past afternoon, play the Rapids later tonight.  Chicago meanwhile, picked up their sixth loss with only two wins to their name.  Only DC United, who sit dead last, have more losses at seven.

It’s a quick turn around for the Union this week, as they head back home to PPL Park to take on the Galaxy this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.  That match will be on Comcast SportsNet.  Philadelphia will then play the Fire again that Saturday, this time at PPL Park.  Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m. as well and can be seen on The Comcast Network.  Stay tuned to Philly Sports Live for all your Union news and updates. 

(photo courtesy of Philadelphia Union)