USA Tour match report: Philadelphia Union 0-1 Villa
Villa continued their pre-season programme with a professional 1-0 win over Philadelphia Union.
After the delight of victory over Burton, Villa began their USA adventure with a fairly comfortable victory over the MLS side at the PPL Stadium.
Nathan Delfouneso bagged the all-important goal before the break and it was just reward for the striker as he excelled during his time on the pitch.
In 84F degree heat, The Fonz made Villa's dominance pay with a delightfully curled effort which gave goalkeeper Zac MacMath no chance.
Union had one really excellent effort to level matters but Josue Martinez's shot from the left channel flew just wide late in the game.
Villa went in at the break one goal to the good but it could have been even more.
Lambert's side dominated the possession and had all the chances in the opening 45 minutes.
The first came as early as the second minute when MacMath made a fine save after great build-up from the claret and blue troops.
Matt Lowton whipped in a ball from the right with Darren Bent and Brett Holman eager to get a touch. In the end, both did but MacMath did enough to keep the effort out on his goalline.
Delfouneso found himself in on goal on 12 minutes but, once again, MacMath did well to deny.
Soon after Bent stepped up for a free-kick just outside the area, very central, but the skipper fired straight at the Union stopper.
Delfouneso, who was lively throughout, had another effort on 25 minutes from the right side of the box. But the forward delayed his effort a tad and Amobi Okugo came sliding in to block.
Ciaran Clark, who excelled at the back alongside James Collins in that opening period, nearly opened the scoring on 32 minutes when his 35-yard effort sailed towards goal. But in the end, it cleared the crossbar by a matter of inches.
But Delfouneso guaranteed a lead at the break when he curled home a wonderful effort on 43 minutes.
The second period was a little more stop-start, with plenty of substitutions from both sides.
Charles N'Zogbia had a fine chance to double the lead just after the hour mark when he came on to the ball. But the French forward just couldn't get hold of it from under his feet.
Villa's first real scare came on 73 minutes when Martinez outstripped Richard Dunne, just back for pre-season, for pace before firing agonisingly wide.
Eric Lichaj seemed to let the USA occasion get to him on 79 minutes. He charged forward and went for glory on the touchline. But his shot from an unbelievable angle went wide.
There were screams of handball from the home faithful at the death when Keon Daniel's free-kick flew into Gary Gardner in the Villa wall. But the referee waved play on and soon after blew for full-time.
The result ensured Villa head into their third pre-season game in Chicago unbeaten.
Villa: Guzan, Lowton [Lichaj, 60], Collins BOOKED [Dunne, 66], Clark [Baker, 66], Warnock [Stephens, 60], El Ahmadi [Herd, 56], Holman [Gardner, 60], Bannan [Delph, 56], Ireland [N'Zogbia, HT], Delfouneso [Weimann, 52], Bent [c] [Agbonlahor, 52]. Subs: Marshall, Carruthers.