31.07.2020 04:17 h

Santos at the double as Union reach MLS semis

Brazilian striker Sergio Santos scored twice as the Philadelphia Union booked their place in the semi-finals of Major League Soccer's restart tournament on Thursday with a 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City.

The 25-year-old forward from Belo Horizonte struck in the 26th and 39th minutes to leave Philadelphia just two wins away from the first piece of silverware in the club's history.

Midfielder Jamiro Monteiro had opened the scoring for Philadelphia on 24 minutes, tucking away a low shot at the far post after deft interplay involving Santos and US international Alejandro Bedoya.

Two minutes later Santos opened his account with a breakaway goal that started from an attacking Kansas City freekick.

A poor back pass from Sporting's Luis Martins was pounced on by Santos who quickly raced away on goal.

The Brazilian coolly took his time and then lifted a delicate finish over the advancing Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia to make it 2-0.

Philadelphia then rammed home their advantage six minutes from half time with Santos's second.

A superb pass from Philadelphia's teenage midfielder Brenden Aaronson split Sporting's defence and found Santos at the back post. The South American duly made it 3-0 with a crisp finish.

Kansas City raised hopes of a fightback with a header from Alan Pulido on the stroke of half-time to make it 3-1, but their challenge wilted after the break as Philadelphia comfortably closed out the win.

The Union will play either New York City FC or Portland Timbers in the semi-finals.

The "MLS is Back" tournament is taking place inside a secure "bubble" at Disney World in Orlando, Florida following a four-month season hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.