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Union 1, Fire 0

The SportsXchange

CHESTER, Pa. -- The Philadelphia Union got an early goal and then held on, taking a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire for the second time in a week.

It was not even three minutes into the game when Sebastian Le Toux drove a hard cross from the left side of the box that first found Jack McInerney's head and then the back of the goal. The score, McInerney's league-leading eighth of the season, was the 20th goal of the 20-year-old's young MLS career as the striker continues to open eyes around the league.

Chicago (2-7-1, 7 points) had quite a few prime scoring opportunities, especially early on. Philadelphia goalie Zac MacMath saved six shots to preserve his second shutout of the season, including a fantastic diving stop on a Chris Rolfe shot from just outside the box in the 9th minute of play.

The Fire played the final third of the game down a man after defender Wells Thompson was sent off in the 62nd minute challenging Union midfielder Danny Cruz. Thompson's first yellow card of the game came in the 14th minute, also due to a rough challenge against Cruz.

The win was one the Union (5-4-3, 18 points) desperately needed at home, as they came into play just 1-2-2 at PPL Park this season.

Both teams were looking to come back from losses, as the Union suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, while the Fire had nothing to do all week but prepare for a rematch between the two clubs.

Philadelphia and Chicago met a week ago on the Fire's home turf, with the Union coming out 1-0 winners thanks to a McInerney goal in the 75th minute of play -- also off an assist from LeToux.

Chicago coach Frank Klopas made one change to the starting lineup between games, inserting Leff Larentowicz at one midfield slot instead of Dan Paladini, who was left off the 18-man active roster. The Fire also welcomed the return of usual starting midfield Sherjill MacDonald, back on its active roster after missing the last game due to an illness. MacDonald entered the game for Rolfe in the 53rd minute.

NOTES: Philadelphia D Bakary Soumare started his third consecutive game after being inactive for the previous 22 games, a streak that stretched back to Aug. 12, 2012. ... In addition to Thompson's yellow cards, Chicago defender Jalil Anibaba picked one up in the 57th minute, while Philadelphia's Brian Carroll (56') and Sheanon Williams (73') were booked as well. ... Philadelphia substitutions were Keon Daniel (for Danny Cruz, 64'), Conor Casey (for Kleberson, 71') and Leonardo Fernandes (for Jack McInerney, 90'); Chicago's were Alex (for Joel Lindpere, 75') and Quincy Amarikwa (for Dilly Duka, 81') in addition to MacDonald.
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