The Philadelphia Union may have suffered a scare, but in the end they were the ones who looked the most frightening.
Led by a brace from Lionard Pajoy, the Union advanced to the U.S. Open Cup semifinals with a 5-2 victory over USL Pro club Harrisburg City Islanders at PPL Park on Tuesday night. The result may have finished in lopsided manner, but it took a second half penalty kick from Pajoy and a floated effort from substitute Gabriel Gomez to give the hosts breathing room in front of the 4,313 fans in attendance.
The Union let a 3-0 lead at halftime nearly vanish, as Brian Ombiji and Morgan Langley punished defender Porfirio Lopez's slack marking to pull Harrisburg within a goal. Lopez was starting in central defense due to the suspension of Carlos Valdes.
With the City Islanders throwing numbers forward, the Union managed to get some breathing room when Pajoy converted on a spotkick that was questionably awarded after substitute Amtoine Hoppenot was brought down in the box.
The other Philadelphia goal-scorers were Freddy Adu and Jack McInerney, who each scored within the first nine minutes of a match that seemed destined to be a rout.
The Union will host the winner of the Sporting Kansas City-Dayton Dutch Lions quarterfinals match in the semifinals on July 10 or 11.