The game ended 2-2 in the Union’s summer-friendly-extravaganza against Swansea City. The game was never going to be about the result but a 2-2 draw against a BPL team is something the Union can take as a positive moving forward in its season. Here is the play-by-play recap of the match.
A penalty was given in the 5th minute for the Union. Roland Alberg swooped in to pick off a lazy back pass by Kyle Bartly and began the Union counter. He played it wide for Marcus Epps who carried the ball into the box. Martin Olsson reached in to slow Epps down as the winger cut inside the defender and Epps went down. CJ Sapong stepped up and slotted the penalty to the right, sending keeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt the wrong way.
A good chance for the Union came in the 15th minute, but Alberg scuffed his shot and sent it well over the bar. Jack Elliott played a perfectly weighted long ball for CJ Sapong who had the vision to pull back a pass for Alberg near the edge of the “D” atop the box. Alberg had an odd angle and wasn’t able to get around the ball and keep it down.
Swansea had its first good opportunity in the 20th minute, after a sliced shot found its way to Kyle Naughton on the right side of the box. Naughton hit a swerving effort, slicing across the ball. Auston Trusty got down well and kicked the shot away before it could make its way to McGuire in net.
McGuire came up big in the 22nd minute to deny Swansea from a set piece. The ball was headed back across the net and 3 Swansea attackers had a chance to smash it from just 5 yards away. Wayne Routledge had a go but Jake McGuire closed down the shot quickly and made a great save to deny the equalizer.
A nice winding run by Jordan Ayew earned Swansea a good opportunity, but Ayew’s shot inside the box was weak and easy for McGuire to pick up. Ayew received the ball 35 yards out and a pocket of space between the lines and did all the work himself. He ran outside of Jack Elliott and then cut inside, creating space enough to hit a shot.
Swansea equalized in the 28th minute from a corner kick. The Union looked susceptible on set pieces up to this point, and conceded after the ball pin-balled around the Union box. McGuire came up with another great save to deny a volley from Jordan Ayew, but the ball wasn’t cleared properly in two situations after, and Bartley was able to poke the ball in from close range when it popped up to him.
Swansea took the lead in the 40th minute from another set piece, this time a corner kick. Jake McGuire didn’t make his mind up, and came out halfway. Bartley won the header, sending back across and Jordan Ayew proceeded to smash the ball into the open net.
At the half Swansea looked the stronger team at 2-1, despite scoring from two set pieces. Despite the penalty, the Union failed to create much, and only looked dangerous on the counter, yet failed to get behind Bartley and Alfie Mawson enough to threaten the Swansea net. Meanwhile Swansea was strong in possession, losing it only a couple times. However in those situations the loss of possession was costly for Swansea, as that was how Philly had most of its chances. Both teams swapped out the entire squad at half.
The Union equalized in the 58th minute through Jay Simpson. Ilsinho received a pass form Adam Najem with enough space to run at Steven Kingsley. Ilsinho cut inside and found Simpson running toward the near post. Ilsinho weighted his pass perfectly, and Simpson was able to place a chopping shot to the back post, catching Nordfeldt off-guard.
After picking up a loose ball after some even looser play from the Union, forward Oli McBurnie had a chance to round John McCarthy in net, but took his touch just a bit too wide, and when trying to score past the caught out keeper, he pulled it just too wide, though Richie Marquez likely would have made the save if it had been on target.
Swansea threatened in the Union box often in the first 25 minutes of the second half, but failed to really get any good shots on target. Often Swansea was guilty of overplaying the ball, looking for an easier shot when there was an easy one on a platter already. Perhaps a more direct approach in the box would have threatened McCarthy more, who instead picked up many loose balls in the box.
Charlie Davis saw his first involvement in the 71st minute, and nearly scored if not for a well placed save by Nordfeldt. Ilsinho, with some nifty dribbling on the right side, pushed the ball past Kingsley and whipped in a perfect back-post cross. Davies perhaps should have headed the ball across the net for Simpson, instead his near post header was pushed out on the goal-line.
Jake McGuire (29)
Raymon Gaddis (28), Jack Elliott (3), Auston Trust (26), Giliano Wijnaldum (32)
Haris Medunjanin (6), Warren Creavalle (2)
Marcus Epps (20), Roland Alberg (10), Fafa Picault (22)
CJ Sapong (17)
Jordan Ayew (18)
Wayne Routledge (15), Tom Carroll (42), Leroy Fer (8), Luciano Narsingh (11)
Roque Mesa (15),
Martin Olsson (16), Kyle Bartley (27), Alfie Mawson (6), Kyle Naughton (26)
Kristoffer Nordfeldt (13)
Goal PHL: Sapong 5’ (pen)
Goal SWA: Bartley 28’
Goal SWA: Ayew 40’
Goal PHI: Simpson 58′
Sub PHL: Adem Najem for Roland Alberg 45’
Sub PHL: Ilsinho for Marcus Epps 45’
Sub PHL: Brian Carroll for Haris Medunjanin 45’
Sub PHL: Josh Yaro for Jack Elliott 45’
Sub PHl: Richie Marquez for Auston Trusty 45’
Sub PHL: John McCarthy for Jake McGuire 45’
Sub PHl: Derrick Jones for Warren Creavalle 45’
Sub PHL: Jay Simpson for CJ Sapong 45’
Sub PHL: Fabinho for giliano Wijnaldum 45’
Sub PHL Keegan Rosenberry for Raymon Gaddis 45’
Sub PHL: Charlie Davies for Fafa Picault 45’
Sub SWA: Mike Van Der Hoorn for Kyle Bartley 45’
Sub SWA: Angel Rangel for Kyle Naughton 45’
Sub SWA: Federico Fernandez for Alfie Mawson 45’
Sub SWA: Stephen Kingsley for Martin Olsson 45’
Sub SWA: Leon Britton for Roque Mesa 45’
Sub SWA: Jefferson Montero for Wayne Routledge 45’
Sub SWA: Matt Grimes for Tom Carroll 45’
Sub SWA: Jay Fulton for Leroy Fer 45’
Sub SWA: Modou Barrow for Luciano Narsingh 45’
Sub SWA: Oli McBurnie for Jordan Ayew 45’
Yellow PHL: Josh Yaro 55’
Goal PHL: Jay Simpson 58’ (assist Ilsinho)
Sub PHL: Ken Tribbett for Brian Carroll 76’
Sub PHl: Anthony Fontana for Brian Carroll 76’
Sub PHL: Aaron Jones for Keegan Rosenberry 76’