CHESTER, Pa. -- Jack McInerney did it again for the Union.
Scoring his second game-winning goal in as many games, the Union continued their mastery of the New England Revolution, 1-0, on Saturday at PPL Park.
“With the weather we knew it was going to be a battle and the type of game that ends 1-0. We came out on top,” said McInerney. “We held it down in the back and got balls in the box as much as possible.”
The win gives the Union a two-game winning streak -- their first since October 2012, when they defeated the Chicago Fire and Revolution. The Union also pushed their overall record to 2-1-0 on the year and their all-time record against the Revolution to 5-0-3.
“We match up well against them,” said Sheanon Williams of the Revs. “That said, they are a good team and are definitely better than in the past. I know they will do fine this season. We have to play them two more times and those games will be battles.”
Grinding through the sleet, rain and cold, the Union pressed the attack on the stingy Revolution, who posted a shutout in their season opener against the Fire.
“Those conditions are tough to play in and both teams had to gut it out today,” said Union coach John Hackworth, whose club took down the Colorado Rapids, 2-1, in frigid conditions a week prior. “I’m so proud of our team and how they found a way to win in a game like that. For the second straight week we didn’t play the prettiest soccer but in bad conditions we found a way to win.
“We’ve talked a lot about being Philly tough and we’re starting to show that we’re Philly tough.”
Earning four corners in the second half, the Union finally broke through the 75th minute, when Sebastien Le Toux launched a perfectly-placed corner ball off the head of McInerney and in on Bobby Shuttleworth, who made the initial save. Following up the play, McInerney cashed in his own rebound for the 1-0 lead and eventually win.
It was McInerney’s second of the season and fourth goal in six games against the Revs.
“I think they were playing zone,” said McInerney, who has 26 goals all time for the Union. “They didn’t mark me on the corner. Seba played a great ball in and I got a header off. They made a good save and it came right back to me.”
But the contest wasn’t all Union attack. With a soggy field creating a sloppy and slow game, the Union’s defense was put on display early, when the Revolution earned a high-percentage free kick at the top of the Union box in the fourth minute. Taking the kick was Lee Nguyen, who rocketed a shot off the head of Danny Cruz to keep the contest scoreless.
Cruz would leave the game as a result, replaced on the right wing by Michael Lahoud.
“Danny was pissed he had to come out of the game,” said Hackworth. “But once the medical staff makes the call, it’s out of his hands and out of my hands. It’s tough because Michael Lahoud comes into the game ice cold. It changed things a lot for us and threw off a lot of what we tried to do early in the game. Danny says he is fine right now.”
In the 43rd minute, the Revolution earned a second free kick in nearly the same position at the top of the box. With Juan Carlos Toja taking the shot, the Union once again blocked the kick down at the wall.
“It’s the opposite of last year,” said MacMath. “Little things didn’t go our way. Even though the fouls didn’t go our way we made the little plays that got us the win.
“The guys were brave today blocking shots in the cold weather. They did extremely well in blocking shots.”
Despite the Revs’ few but dangerous chances, the Union were in control of the offensive pressure in the first half, earning 59.1 percent of the possession. In the 34th minute, the Union received their most promising scoring chance, when Lahoud nearly found net on a Sheanon Williams throw-in. With a right-footed volley from the middle of the box, Lahoud fired just wide to keep the game 0-0 at half.
“It’s one of those things where I thought I was going to score a goal,” said Lahoud. “It was going to be a half chance and I could feel it coming. I’m just happy we won, that’s all that matters.”