CHICAGO (Aug. 12, 2015) - The Philadelphia Union advanced to the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final with a 1-0 victory against the Chicago Fire at PPL Park courtesy of a second half strike by Sebastian Le Toux, the tournament's modern era scoring king.
Holding a lion’s share of the possession through the first half, the Philadelphia Union nearly found the first goal in the eighth minute when a pinging ball fell for Cristian Maidana whose quick strike was put out for a corner with a diving stop from Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
The Fire weren’t helped by matters when new Designated Player signing Gilberto pulled up lame with a thigh contusion, forcing manager Frank Yallop to replace him with Kennedy Igboananike in the 21st minute.
The Union continued to pour on the pressure with Maidana as the catalyst in the 25th minute. The Argentine attacker blasted a low effort that beat Johnson, but rebounded off the right post. The ball careened to C.J. Sapong, but his follow-up went into the side netting.
While the Fire slowly started to pull their way back in the game, after being outshot 6-1 by the Union, the visitors were happy to go into the locker room locked at 0-0.
The teams had a tougher time finding looks at goal in the second half, but just as it seemed the game would head to extra time, Union striker Sebastien Le Toux found the difference maker. Picking up the ball at the top of the area on the right, the Frenchman took the central space before tucking his effort just inside the right post in the 74th minute.
Chicago mustered a last late attempt through Igboananike, who employed an excellent bit of technique to control a lofted pass with a juggle that set him up for a bicycle shot that McCarthy had to bat away with a leaping save in the final stages of the match.
With the win, Philadelphia moves on to its second U.S. Open Cup Final is as many years and will either visit Real Salt Lake in Sandy, Utah, or host Sporting Kansas City at PPL Park for the Final depending on which team advances from their Semifinal matchup. The 2015 U.S. Open Cup Final will be played on Sept. 29 or 30.
-2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Match Report-
Date: Aug. 12, 2015
Match: Philadelphia Union (MLS) vs. Chicago Fire (MLS)
Competition: 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup; Semifinal
Venue: PPL Park; Chester, Pa.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 82 degrees; Clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
PHI 0 1 1
CHI 0 0 0
PHI – Sebastian Le Toux 74th minute
PHI: 55-John McCarthy; 28-Raymon Gaddis, 16-Richard Marquez, 8-Maurice Edu, 33-Fabinho; 7-Brian Carroll, 13-Michael Lahoud, 10-Cristian Maidana, 85-Tranquillo Barnetta (14-Eric Ayuk Mbu, 71); 9-Sebastian Le Toux, C.J. Sapong
Subs Not Used: 1-Andre Blake; 2-Warren Creavalle, 15-Ethan White, 18-Fernando Aristeguieta, 27-Zach Pfeffer, 77-Fred
Head coach: Jim Curtin
CHI: 25-Sean Johnson; 5-Lovel Palmer, 6-Eric Gehrig, 20-Jeff Larentowicz (C), 3-Joevin Jones; 19-Harry Shipp, 2-Matt Polster (9-Mike Magee, 77), 30-Razvan Cocis, 11-David Accam; 10-Sean Maloney, 29-Gilberto (77-Kennedy Igboananike, 21)
Subs Not Used: 18-Jon Busch, 7-Jason Johnson, 8-Matt Watson, 14-Patrick Nyarko, 26-Michael Stephens
Head coach: Frank Yallop
Stats Summary: PHI / CHI
Shots: 11 / 3
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 9 / 8
Fouls: 12 / 11
Offside: 4 / 0
PHI – Fabinho (caution) 30th minute
CHI – Mike Magee (caution) 83
CHI – Razvan Cocis (caution) 85
Referee: Juan Guzman
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Manikowski
Assistant Referee 2: Kyle Atkins
4th Official: Chris Penso