After a dominating first half, the Union couldn't match the effort in the final 45 minutes Sunday and saw their modest unbeaten string snapped.
Allowing players to roam freely near the goal, the Union squandered a 1-0 halftime lead in a 2-1 Major League Soccer loss to the New England Revolution at PPL Park. The Union, 1-0-1 in their previous two games, lowered their record to 1-4-3.
"It was a very disappointing result," Union coach Jim Curtin said. "We let a huge opportunity slip through our fingers."
In the first half, New England too frequently was unwilling to take defenders one-on-one and got caught playing the ball back too often.
The Revolution were more aggressive in the second half. They earned the equalizer when a wide-open Charlie Davies tapped in a cross from Teal Bunbury in the 64th minute. Bunbury set up the play by beating defender Ray Gaddis and feeding Davies at the far post.
New England (3-2-2) got the game-winner when Bunbury ran past Sheanon Williams right on goal and converted a Diego Fagundez pass in the 76th minute.
In the 78th minute, New England had two goal-line clearances, first by Lee Nguyen on a header by Fernando Aristeguieta and then by defender London Woodberry on a blast by Union defender Maurice Edu.
The Union threatened throughout the first half and finally scored when Cristian Maidana drilled a bending 30-yard free kick inside the right post in the 42d minute for his first goal of the season.
"I practice those shots a lot and that is why I can make them," Maidana said through a translator.
Edu deserved a boatload of credit after dribbling about half the length of the field until he was tripped to set up the free kick.
Maidana, still coming back from a knee injury, was lifted in the 63d minute and the Union missed his presence.
Before Maidana's goal, the Union had two outstanding scoring chances. In the 38th minute, Sebastien Le Toux placed a free kick over the defense to a wide open C.J. Sapong, who couldn't control the ball.
"I just missed it, man," Sapong said. "I saw it a little bit late because I was at the back post, but at the end of the day those are chances you dream of."
In the 16th minute, Aristeguieta hit the crossbar from close range.
It could easily be said that this game could havebeen put away in the first half and was given away in the second.