CHESTER, Pa. -- It wasn’t the way Union coach John Hackworth drew it up. However, with a late, indirect, free-kick goal from Michael Farfan, the Union defeated Chivas USA, 3-1, on a rainy Friday night at PPL Park.
“This was big, it was a really big game,” Hackworth said. “We knew we had to come here and get three points and Chivas is a good team. What they do, they do well. Our guys really dug deep and showed a lot of character to get the win.”
The win puts the Union at 8-6-6 on the season, while the 3-11-5 Goats have gone winless in 14 games -- a streak dating back to March 30.
Pushing through the unrelenting downpour, the trailing Union broke through Chivas in the 58th minute and didn’t look back.
Lining up for a corner kick earned by Leo Fernandes, Sebastien Le Toux played a short corner to Farfan, who dished it back to Le Toux. With a better angle and on his right foot, the Union’s leading assist man fired a line-drive cross that was perfectly headed by Conor Casey but deflected off of Brian Carroll, locking the game at one.
“Conor does all the hard work,” said Carroll. “Technically, it does touch me before going in, but he did all the hard work. It should be his goal.”
Then things got weird.
In the 79th minute, Chivas was called for an improbable back pass inside the box, giving the Union an indirect free kick from the top of the crease. Protesting the rare play in dramatic fashion and possibly making contact with referee Jorge Gonzalez, Chivas’ Josue Sota was handed a red card. It was the second ejection for Gonzalez, who tossed Hackworth off the sideline in the 77th minute.
As the dust cleared and with the entire Chivas squad lined up to block the goal, Farfan took a touch from Le Toux and lightly roofed a shot to give his team the 2-1 lead in the 82nd minute.
“I was pretty confident, I knew they were going to come rushing out,” said Farfan, who notched his first goal of the season. “I just had to put it over their heads. I wanted to make sure I didn’t hit it over the bar.
“It’s always nice to score and I’m happy to finally put a goal on the board.”
Hackworth, who said he watched the play from inside the River End, was thrilled to see Farfan step up to take the shot.
“He aimed it perfectly,” the coach said. “He has excellent technique and it was a good play by him. It was an important part of the game for us.”
Soon after, Casey got his seventh goal of the season in the 89th minute, when he accepted a cross-field pass from Fabinho and easily buried it through Kennedy and in net.
It was Casey’s fifth goal in his last six games and Fabinho’s first assist with the Union.
“I like our starting lineup right now, but Fabinho certainly has the potential to be a starter,” Hackworth said. “His cross to Conor was a great ball. He’s truly a left back but he’s been good getting forward and serving balls into the box. He did that tonight.”
Chivas opened score in the 14th minute, when Union defender Amobi Okugo lost his footing on a soaked field while trying to gain possession of a loose ball. The error allowed Chivas’ Jorge Villafana to gain the left side of the box and center to Jose Correa, who easily placed the ball in an open net for the 1-0 lead.
“I really like this team,” Hackworth said. “I like our character, I like the way we prepare. The way we don’t give up at all, our resilience when we come off a poor performance. We kept plugging away and we just needed to execute a little better. We thought if we could just get one back that we could force the game.”