With the good comes the bad, the old adage goes. For the Philadelphia Union, the bad never failed to overshadow the good in a wild 2-2 draw on Saturday night.
Eric Ayuk gave his team an early lead with an 8th-minute thunderbolt, not out of place considering the conditions. CJ Sapong muscled off Montreal's Victor Cabrera to knock down Cristian Maidana's beautiful dinked entry pass. The young Cameroonian caught it perfectly on the half-volley, giving 'keeper Evan Bush absolutely no chance.
Twenty minutes later, Ignacio Piatti shook both Union defenders before equalizing from the edge of the box.
"On the first goal, I think he could do better moving his feet," Head Coach Jim Curtin said when asked about Maurice Edu's role in Montreal's first. "That's a play I've seen Mo make, getting a block there."
Early in the second half, the Union looked the more likely to break the deadlock. A 67th-minute red card to Patrice Bernier augmented their chances. Just minutes after the ejection, however, former Union striker Jack McInerney put his new side ahead. Maurice Edu was at fault again, losing the ball in his own half while trying to bring it up the field.
"He made a mistake on the second goal. Again: Everyone makes mistakes," Curtin said. "He's had a little bit of a dip, but I know that he's a great player and he'll bounce back."
Edu made amends in the 76th, when he slotted home a rebound to tie it up at two apiece. After a poor clearance on a corner kick, Fabinho ripped an absolutely vicious shot at Evan Bush. Sadly for Bush--who was lucky not to have been decapitated by a soccer ball--his great parry fell right to Edu.
With momentum and numbers on their side, the Union looked likely to find a winner in the final 15 minutes. With 14 left, Eric Ayuk was sent off after receiving his second yellow card. It was the right call, as Ayuk went in late on Ignacio Piatti. The initial yellow card issued in the 62nd minute is what drew the ire of Curtin and Ayuk.
"The first yellow is one where he gets to the ball first," Curtin said after the game. "It's not a foul, let alone a yellow card."
Ayuk was even more upset with Storin Stoica's call.
"I was so disappointed because of the red card," Ayuk said. "I let my team down."
Though the game ended in a draw, the wet 'n wild atmosphere meant that both teams had goalscoring chances that weren't converted.
In the 53rd minute, Cristian Maidana cut toward the center of the field and hit Zach Pfeffer in stride with an in-swinging cross. Pfeffer failed to make good contact on the ball, sending it to the ad boards instead of the back of the net.
Ignacio Piatti couldn't have had a more perfect chance to get his team's third goal. He found himself all alone on the far post after a cross somehow got past two Union defenders and goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre. Flat-footed, Piatti was forced to settle it instead of shooting first-time. His touch went awry, then he whiffed Charlie Brown-style as he attempted to salvage the opportunity.
Moments later, CJ Sapong re-directed a cross right into Maurice Edu's path, but he just couldn't get a touch on the bouncing ball.