Hartford Athletic traveled to Subaru Park Wednesday for their final meet against the Philadelphia Union II, where they won 3-2 at the death of the match.
Hartford’s first goal of the match was in the 7th minute after being awarded a penalty. Idan Cohen waited for the right moment to pass the ball to Alex Dixon, who made a run into the penalty area. The Union II goalkeeper charged towards Dixon and brought him down. Immediately after, the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Mads Jørgensen took the penalty and got the ball right underneath the keeper and into the back of the net. About 10 minutes later, Hartford would score again, this time by Alex Lara. Hartford were given a corner kick, taken by Mads Jørgensen. When the ball was crossed in, one of Philly’s defenders headed the ball towards the far post where it bounced off of Lara and into the net.
Things wouldn’t be all too glamourous for the visitors, however. In the 22nd minute, Union II were awarded a corner kick that was taken by Paxten Aaronson. An attempt for a clearance, Idan Cohen mistimed his contact with the ball and it ended up going in, despite goalkeeper Michael Novotny attempting to save it.
The remainder of the first half was mostly leveled, which only saw a few attempts from Philly to create chances. But Hartford played well defensively to counter such plays. On top of that, the majority of Philly’s shots in the first half went far out wide.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Union II had a really good change to equalize. Jack McGlynn passed the ball from out wide to Cole Turner, who had plenty of space to make something happen. He went for a long shot that almost went in, but the ball grazed the top of the crossbar and Hartford were given a goal kick. In the 60th minute, Union II would try again, this time scoring to make the game leveled. Following a goal kick, Philly slowly moved up the pitch. Nathan Harriel, from Philly’s half of the pitch, lobbed the ball far up the field that found Caden Stafford in between two Hartford defenders. He got a light touch on the ball, but it was good enough to get it over Mike Novotny and into the net. Two minutes later, Stafford almost secured his brace from a header, but the ball only managed to hit the woodwork and the assistant referee raised the flag for him being offside.
In the 77th minute, Philly were given the advantage to take the lead after being awarded a penalty when Matheus Silva tackled Issa Rayyan in the box. Rayyan took the penalty, but fortunately Mike Novotny went in the right direction to block the shot.
The rest of the second half was relatively quiet, until Hartford surprised Philly and sealed the three points they needed in the 90th minute. Hartford were on the attack that saw a cross headed towards Markus Naglestad, but the Union II keeper caught the ball in time. However, Danny Barrera surprised the keeper when he threw the ball by hitting the it with his heel, and the ball came back down and bounced into the net. Because of this last second reaction, Hartford move up to No.1 in Group F.
Hartford’s final match of the regular season will be on the road Sunday against the New York Red Bulls II.