Jaidi revels in Hartford Athletic’s ‘difficult’ victory over Philadelphia Union II

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Radhi Jaidi
Despite a two-goal deficit against Sven Gartung’s men, Hartford Athletic bounced back to win, to the delight of the Tunisian football great

Hartford Athletic manager Radhi Jaidi has revelled in his side’s 3-2 victory over Philadelphia Union II in Saturday’s USL Championship encounter.

Trailing by two goals in the first 16 minutes of the encounter, Jaidi’s men bounced back to secure maximum points at the Dillon Stadium.

The visitors took the lead after four minutes when Yomi Scintu - a German footballer of Italian and Congolese descent - buried the ball past goalkeeper Parfait Mandanda after a pass across the backline was missed by Kevin Politz.

Axel Picazo then doubled the lead for the hosts 12 minutes later.

That goal woke the hosts from their slumber and Gabriel Torres pulled one back for Hartford in the 39th minute after hitting a powerful shot over Ben Martino.

A brilliant effort from Mads Jorgensen off Danny Flores’ assist went just under a diving Martino, following a poor clearance by Union II from their own box, to level scores two minutes before the half-time break.

Victory was sealed in the 53rd-minute when Ever Guzman converted a Danny Barrera pass that left goalkeeper Martino stranded.

Thanks to this victory, Hartford have now won their first three games of the new season to lead the Eastern Conference log with nine points.

Delighted by this latest triumph, the Tunisia legend went on social media to express his excitement with his team’s impressive form.

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“Thank God for this third successive victory. Despite the difficult scenario and two early goals, the players showed great courage to return in the match and win,” Jaidi tweeted.

“I thank our fans who encouraged us throughout the match. We will try to continue in the same way to make them happy and improve the team.”

Hartford Athletic will face Indy Eleven in their next outing on Thursday at the Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis.

Jaidi was previously a player with Southampton, featuring 66 times between 2009 and 2012, when he hung up his boots.

The 44-year-old was an Africa Cup of Nations winner with Tunisia on home soil in 2004.