Photo Cred: Philadelphia Union
The Union continued their road trip tonight, as they faced off against Western Conference opponent Minnesota. AATSports Network covered the match, and you can check out our Report below!
Wagner, Elliott, Glesnes, Mbaizo
Flach, Martinez, Bedoya
Minnesota United FC
Gasper, Dibassey, Boxall, Metanire
Fragapane, Reynoso, Finlay
First Half Summary
Some chippy vibes to start the match tonight. Mbaizo was given a rough shove by the sideline, and Olivier then sprinted after the Minnesota player. His retaliation was not taken lightly by the head official, who immediately gave Mbaizo a yellow card. Terrible composure on the road.
The first Union shot came in the 10th minute. Mbaizo danced around in the box, and he was able to get enough separation to make a cross. His pass then ricocheted off a Minnesota defender, but found the head of Kacper. The strike was not strong enough to beat Tyler Miller, and the match remained scoreless.
The Union missed a close call in the 18th minute. Glesnes pushed the ball down the pitch, and before he turned it over, Jakob passed it off to Elliott. Jack then mimicked his fellow center back's actions, but this time Philly was not able to maintain possession. Minnesota countered well, but their cross into the box was too far ahead of their forward. Blake dodged one there, as he would have been tested from close range.
Things quieted down over the next twenty minutes. Although each team showed some signs of life in the final third, neither keeper was tested. It certainly seemed like the clubs were going to enter the locker room 0-0, but then the first costly mistake happened. Jose danced around with the ball outside of the Union box, and he turned it over. Glesnes had a chance to poke the ball away, but he slipped and Hunou put his shot right passed Andre. Terrible from Martinez, who clearly never learned his lesson after Club America.
The Union didn't wait long before returning the favor. Jamiro did well inside the box to keep possession and find Gazdag at the top of the box. The Hungarian midfielder then sent a beautiful shot at net, which easily went passed the diving Miller. 1-1
The teams entered the locker room even, and Brujo now owes Daniel a beer tonight.
Second Half Summary
Minnesota gave the first threat of the second half. Reynoso danced along the edge of the box, away from a diving Brujo who tried to poke the ball away. Reynoso then took a strong shot at net, and his strike just barely passed the far post. Blake looked like he was beaten there.
What seemed to be a smart move by Elliott, ultimately led to the Union's second goal of the night. Jack saw Miller slightly off his line, so he sent a slow, but high-flying shot toward the net. Miller played it safe and tipped it out of bounds for a Union corner. The low-flying corner then struck the head of Bedoya, and his shot was tipped into the air by Miller. Fortunately, it travelled along the goal line and found Gazdag standing at the door step. Daniel then put in the easiest goal of his career to send Philly up 2-1.
The lead didn't last long, and once again Philly was unable to hold onto a road lead. Mbaizo made a soft pass to Glesnes, who tried to recover but then slipped on the wet surface. Lod ultimately took advantage of the Philly error, and Minnesota tied up the match 2-2. Mental mistakes keep hurting this team.
The mental miscues continued from Philly. Kai and Glesnes miscommunicated in the box, and Minnesota was able to gain possession within close range. The first shot was saved by Blake, but it ricocheted right to a wide open Fragapane. 3-2 now for the home team, who were down a goal only a few minutes before.
This game then took a bizarre turn. Brujo appeared to catch a hand to the face, and he went down within the box. Kai and Metanire then went face to face, and Metanire inexplicably threw the ball at Wagner's head. Kai dramatically hit the pitch, and the lead official immediately showed a red card. This left Philly with just over 10 minutes to tie the match with a man advantage.
The Union did all they could to earn their third goal. Fontana, Paxten, and McGlynn were brought on for Mbaizo, Brujo, and Flach. Philly had some chances, but Miller and company were able to keep the away team off the board once more. Terrible finish to the match. The Union's reckless mistakes cost the team three points in a tight playoff race. Now they must come back this weekend and host second place Nashville.
- Mike Barrera (mbarrera1323)