Hartford Athletic went on the road Sunday where they defeated the Philadelphia Union II 3-0. Because of this result, Hartford secured their spot in the USL Championship playoffs.
Alex Dixon almost had his first goal in the 3rd minute, but as he went for the shot, the assistant referee raised their flag for the offside call. Five minutes later, Dixon would get his redemption. Ever Guzmán crossed out from out wide to the middle of the field. Dixon, who was in the clear, took the shot and put the ball past the keeper and into the net.
Five minutes later, in the 13th minute, Hartford would have another goal added; this time a Union II own goal. After a turnover on possession, Guzmán took a chance after Philly’s poor defense and shot, which was almost saved by defender Jamoi Topey, but the referee ruled it as a goal.
In the 19th minute, Philly took their first chance on goal. After a play created by defender Nathan Herriel with a backheel pass from Jack McGlynn, Paxton Aaronson continued the run. He tried to cross to forward Agnes Boui but Parfait Mandanda ended up beating him to the ball. Three minutes later, Union II would try again for goal. Hartford tried to clear the ball but failed which saw Aaronson convert the play. He took a long shot and nearly scored. Shortly after, midfielder Steve Kingue ran down to the goal line and crossed to Bohui who was inches away from the goal yet couldn’t put his foot in the right direction and missed.
In the 28th minute, Philly had a really good chance to score. Herriel crossed the ball from past the halfway line to Picazo and was quick to take a shot after Mandanda went off his line to rush the ball. Unfortunately, the ball rolled past the net, just inches away. After a couple more chances from both sides. The first half ended with Hartford in the lead.
The second half saw Hartford’s third and final goal of the match where Dixon secured his brace. After a failed header that converted to a goal kick, Dixon received the ball off a header and went on the attack. After an attempt to pass to one of his teammates, Philly’s defenders intercepted but couldn’t clear the ball. Dixon managed to get the ball again and put it in the back of the net. Union II kept on making plays to get a goal but couldn’t land a lot of their shots on target.
A great result for head coach Radhi Jaïdi’s team as they don’t have to worry about any other team (mainly New York Red Bulls II) creeping up on them in Group F now that they have sealed the last spot for the playoffs. Both sides will meet again on Wednesday in Dillon Stadium.