The Philadelphia Union beat Atlas 1-0 at Subaru Park on Tuesday night in a tense first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matchup.
Jim Curtin's side was awarded a penalty late in the second half and Daniel Gazdag snuck his spot kick past Atlas keeper Camilo Vargas to give the Union a slight edge at the halfway point of the tie.
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Julian Quinones had back-to-back chances to put Atlas in front midway through the first half, but Andre Blake came off his line and stuffed the first attempt. Quinones' second attempt from his own rebound was swept off the line by the Union defense.
The visitors continued to force the issue and Blake was once again called into action to keep the Union level, getting down and to his right to palm Aldo Rocha's low shot wide of the far post.
Anderson Santamaria was shown a straight
In the second half it was Atlas keeper Vargas' turn to show off his skills, going right to save Jakob Glesnes' deflected free kick from distance and then tipping Jack McGlynn's ripped strike from the top of the area over the crossbar.
With the match seemingly headed for a draw, the referee called a foul on Vargas after he crashed into Julian Carranza in the area and Gazdag converted from the spot to give the Union the win.
The two teams meet again for the decisive second leg in Guadalajara on April 12.