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Union hope to continue solid home form against Timbers

3:58 PM, Jul 19, 2013   |    comments
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Chester, PA (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Union will look continue their fine run of form at home on Saturday as the club welcomes the Portland Timbers to PPL Park.

After struggling through a difficult two-game road trip to Salt Lake City and Houston which resulted in a draw and a loss, the Union returned home to face Chivas USA last Friday and came up with an inspired second-half performance to claim a 3-1 victory, extending their home unbeaten streak to six consecutive matches across all competitions.

Philadelphia fell behind last Friday 14 minutes into the match when defender Amobi Okugo slipped on the wet turf, which allowed Chivas' Jorge Villafana to collect the ball and send it an unmarked Jose Correa, who fired it into the empty net.

But in the second half the Union grabbed control and found an equalizer in the 58th minute as a Sebastien Le Toux cross was flicked on by Conor Casey before deflecting off the back of Brian Carroll and into the net.

Philadelphia grabbed the lead for good in the 82nd minute in a most unconventional way as Michel Farfan smashed an indirect free kick from inside the penalty area into the roof of the net.

The Union then added a third goal from Casey in the 89th minute to seal an important three points.

"This means a lot the way we were able to battle back and get the three points, it says a lot about our team," said rookie midfielder Leo Fernandes. "This gives us a lot of confidence and now it's important we take this into the next game and fight for another three points."

Philadelphia will also welcome back a familiar face as striker Jack McInerney will be eligible to play after being returned to the club following the his stint with the U.S. national team at the Gold Cup.

Portland, meanwhile, is coming off a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Western Conference rival Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field, a result which lifted the Timbers to second place in the West.

The Galaxy broke through first, in the 17th minute. Hector Jimenez perfectly placed a cross from the right wing and Marcelo Sarvas was left alone in the box to head home with ease.

Portland answered back 10 minutes later. From a free kick just outside the Galaxy box, Diego Valeri took the restart quickly and fed a charging Darlington Nagbe, who rolled a cross to Ryan Johnson for an open-net goal.

The game-winner came just before the final whistle when Andrew Jean-Baptiste powered his way into the box to get on the end of a Valeri corner kick.

"With us, we're pushing the game so if we give up a goal, nothing changes, we're pushing the game,"Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said. "To win the game, you've got to score goals so the first goal doesn't change a thing for us whatsoever, and you saw that in our play. We kept going, we kept pushing."

In four all-time meetings between the clubs, Portland holds a 2-0-2 record, including a 3-1 victory at home last season.

The Sports Network

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