CHESTER, Pa. — Richie Marquez picked a perfect time for his first career goal.
In the 90th minute, with the match of the line, Sebastien Le Toux’s right-footed cross sailed over the head of C.J. Sapong and to the feet of center back Marquez, who smoothly buried the volley to give the Union a 1-0 win over D.C. United on Friday night at Talen Energy Stadium.
But while Marquez played hero, he couldn’t have done it without the heroic second-half goalkeeping of Andre Blake, who made two saves for his third shutout of the season.
The win continues the Union’s home dominance, pushing their home record to 4-0-2 and overall record to an impressive 5-3-3, keeping the club atop the Eastern Conference standings. D.C. United continued their inconsistency at 3-5-4.
The two evenly matched clubs weren’t shy in trading equal pressure early on, but neither side could find the urgency needed in the final third. But as the first half pushed on, it was the Union that began to take control.
Led by the active play by Fabinho, who had the Union’s only shot on goal of the half in the 37th minute, the Union went into the break with 54.9 percent of the possession with three corners to United’s one. The score, however, remained 0-0.
Le Toux nearly opened scoring to start the second half, when a Fabinho cross was pushed away violently by Travis Worra and to the feet of Le Toux at the top of the United crease. Attempted to play the surprise ball from his left to right foot, Le Toux inadvertently put too much on the touch, causing him to lose control without a shot.
On the other side, in the 63rd minute, Blake made one of his best saves of the season, when a play into the Union box was one-hit with an acrobatic shot by Alvaro Saborio. With superhuman speed, Blake was able to extend his left arm and keep the ball out.