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Two goals from distance the difference in the Union’s first loss



A road trip to Fort Lauderdale with an eye to the start of Concacaf Champions League play on Tuesday was always going to be a tough task for the Philadelphia Union. It was only made tougher by an Inter Miami team that is flying to start their season.

The hosts looked dangerous early and were the better team through much of the first half but still needed a golazo from distance from Corentin Jean to open the scoring and an even better goal from substitute Robert Taylor to double the lead in the second half on the defending Eastern Conference Champions.

Taylor’s goal in the 77th minute closed the door on the Union’s search for an away point and is an early candidate for Goal of the Year. That’s how great of a strike it was. The 28-year-old from Finland collected a pass from Jean Mota with his chest, batted it down to himself and hit a blistering volley that scorched the back of the net.

The Union had their chances in the game – and won the xG battle 1.1-.5 – but they weren’t clinical enough when it counted and ultimately weren’t able to execute their game plan.

“It wasn’t us,” head coach Jim Curtin said post-game. “It wasn’t a Philadelphia Union performance.”

Still, on any other night with Blake in goal it may have been enough to escape with a point. Though Blake will want the first goal back (he normally makes saves on shots like that), the second goal was jaw-droppingly fantastic.

“The two goals that won the game were probably two goals to win any game of football,” Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville said post-game.

Miami nearly had another golazo in the match that hit the crossbar off the foot of Jean Mota in the 67th minute.

“We didn’t create that much but neither did they,” Neville said. “It was a tight game.”

Blake didn’t record any saves on the night. Drake Callender recorded four saves for Miami.

Months from now, the thing we’ll remember most is Taylor’s goal.

When asked post game where the goal ranks for him personally, Taylor chuckled and said “Probably top 1.”

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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