Photo credit- Philadelphia Union Twitter Page.
Second-half goals by Alejandro Bedoya and Daniel Gazdag completed an impressive turnaround for ten-man Philadelphia as they beat CF Montreal 2-1 at the Montreal Olympic Stadium.
Lassi Lappalainen gave Montreal the lead in the first half as his deflected curling shot found the back of the net. Shortly after the break, the hosts thought that they had doubled their lead. However, Djordje Mihailovic's goal was ruled out by VAR for a foul in the build-up.
Moments later, Ale Bedoya levelled for the Union as he did well to find the bottom corner inside a crowded penalty area. Then just three minutes later, Daniel Gazdag scored the winning goal as he found the back of the net thanks to the work of Julian Carranza.
It was the Argentinian that received his marching orders with a little under 20 minutes remaining in the game as he was sent off for a second yellow card.
The Union made two changes to their starting XI following the 1-1 draw against Minnesota United on the opening day. Nathan Harriel and Sergio Santos came into the starting XI in place of Olivier Mbaizo and Cory Burke. Mbaizo dropped to the bench, while Burke was not in the squad due to the birth of his son. Mikael Uhre was on the bench for Philadelphia.
Kei Kamara came into the Montreal team as Wilfried Nancy made a handful of changes from the side that lost 2-0 in Orlando.
Joaquin Torres had the first opportunity of note after 12 minutes. He received the ball and decided to shoot from over 20 yards out. His effort had height and power but was straight at Andre Blake, who comfortably saved the shot.
In the 15th minute, Julian Carranza had a golden opportunity to open his Union account. A loose ball found its way to the Argentinian, and two Montreal defenders clashed inside their own box, opening up space for Carranza. He shot across the goal, but Sebastian Breza was equal to it as he pushed it away.
Lassi Lappalainen put Montreal in front in the 32nd minute. Ismael Kone got himself inside the Union penalty area before passing it to Lappalainen. He attempted a first-time curling effort towards the far corner. It took a deflection off of Harriel, which caused the ball to loop up high and drop into the back of the net with Blake standing watching helplessly.
Torres came close again shortly before half-time. He received the ball on a quick free-kick routine and had acres of space to shoot. He tried his luck from 20 yards, and it took a fingertip save from Blake to deny Torres' shot from finding the top corner.
HALF-TIME: CF Montreal 0-1 Philadelphia Union
Djordje Mihailovic thought he had doubled Montreal's lead within the first five minutes of the second half. He won the ball near the halfway line and made his way unchallenged towards the Union penalty area. He shot from around 18 yards out and beat Blake as his shot found the bottom corner. However, the celebrations were short-lived as the goal was disallowed following a VAR check, which saw Mihailovic foul Carranza before the goal.
Things went from bad to worse for Montreal moments later as Ale Bedoya brought Philadelphia back level. There was a scramble just inside the Montreal penalty area, and the loose ball fell nicely to Bedoya. He did well to control his shot with a first-time effort on his left foot as he found the bottom corner.
It did not take the Union long to score again as Daniel Gazdag gave Jim Curtin's team the lead in the 56th minute. Carranza did well to hold his run and beat the offside trap and then brought the ball under control by using his chest. He eventually got into the box before squaring it to the oncoming Gazdag, who calmly slotted it beyond Breza and into the bottom corner.
In the 67th minute, Uhre made his Philadelphia Union debut as he replaced Santos.
Lappalainen came close to scoring his second with a strong shot on the half-volley. The ball sat up nicely for him as he struck the ball with plenty of power across the goal, but Blake did well to get across and push it behind the goal.
In the 71st minute, Carranza was sent off following a second yellow card. He accidentally stamped on the back of the foot of a Montreal defender and was given his marching orders after being booked just seven minutes earlier.
Uhre had a good chance to put the Union out of sight as he managed to get beyond the Montreal defence. He used his pace to drive towards the penalty area before firing a shot towards the near post. However, Uhre could only find the side netting.
Kamal Miller had a massive chance to bring the hosts back onto level terms in the 81st minute. The ball was crossed towards the back post by Zachary Brault Guillard, and Miller came around the back unmarked. He had a free header but could not take advantage as he missed the target.
Heading into stoppage time, Uhre had another great chance. He used his pace to beat the offside trap once again, and he drove towards the penalty area. The Danish forward shot, but it was straight at the oncoming Breza.
FULL-TIME: CF Montreal 1-2 Philadelphia Union
CF Montreal: Breza, Choiniere (Brault-Guillard 65'), Miller ( Bassong 81'), Camacho, Johnston, Lappalainen (Milijevic 90'), Wanyama, Kone (Zouhir 65'), Mihailovic, Kamara, Torres
Unused Substitutes: Pantemis, Waterman, Thorkelsson, Corbo, Ketterer
Philadelphia Union: Blake, Harriel, Glesnes, Elliott, Wagner, Martinez, Bedoya (Sullivan 87'), Flach, Gazdag (Mbaizo 75'), Santos (Uhre 67'), Carranza
Unused Substitutes: Freese, Real, Findlay, Bueno, McGlynn, Aaronson