Frozen out under Peter Nowak, Jack McInerney has started two matches under John Hackworth, repaying the faith with a double on Saturday.
McInerney, making only his second start of the season, put Philadelphia ahead barely a minute into the match with a blast over Sporting keeper Jimmy Nielsen from six yards. A wonderful long ball from captain Carlos Valdes sprung Raymon Gaddis on the right flank, and his cross was stopped at the far post by forward Lionard Pajoy. From six yards out, McInerney lifted the ball into the top of the net for the Union’s first lead in MLS play since Mother’s Day.
His second, a 43rd-minute strike, only reinforced the youngster’s nose for goal. Midfielder Freddy Adu’s free kick found its way to Valdes in front of the net, but after Nielsen saved the initial shot, McInerney was eagerly waiting to blast it in past the helpless keeper.
Zac MacMath was called upon midway through the second half, as he dove to his left, parrying Graham Zusi’s 23-yard free kick to preserve the two-goal lead.
Despite Kansas City’s second-half pressure, Philadelphia extended it to three in the 81st. Antoine Hoppenot drew a yellow card after beating Sporting defender Aurelien Collin in the box, and Lionard Pajoy converted the penalty to put the match away.
Hoppenot wasn’t done, however. Minutes later, he broke free of Collin once again and finished with a chip over Nielsen for the fourth, and final, goal.
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