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Union blow lead twice, drop three points after poor second half in New York

The Union surrendered three unanswered goals after leading 2-1 at halftime

MLS: Philadelphia Union at New York City FC Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After leading at halftime, the Philadelphia Union fell apart in the second half, conceding three unanswered goals to New York City FC to fall 4-2 at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night.

Fafa Picault opened up scoring for the night with a strong finish after chesting down a pass from Jamiro Monteiro near the penalty spot, turning and firing it home for his second goal of the season.

New York City almost tied the game in the 18’ when they put the ball past homegrown keeper Matt Freese, but the attempt was saved by Jack Elliott, who managed to kick the ball out of the box while standing with his back to the shot.

NYCFC managed to tie the game up in the 23’ after Maximiliano Moralez fooled Freese on a penalty kick. The kick came after a foul by Auston Trusty brought down Valentín Castellanos during a 2v1 chasedown.

Just a few minutes later, Kacper Przyblyko put the Union back in front when he rocketed a shot into the back of the net after a pass from Ilsinho to Jamiro Montiero deflected backward to the feet of the Friendly Striker. The goal in the 29th minute gave the Union a 2-1 lead, and gave Przybylko his sixth goal of the season

Just before halftime, the Union were forced to make their first substitution of the night as Ilsinho went down with a head injury, and Sergio Santos entered the match. The loss of the Brazilian midfielder hurt the Union for the duration. Philly slowed down considerably after Ilsinho left.

New York City earned a second goal, again off a penalty kick, in the 55th minute after Moralez put it past Freese to earn a brace, despite Freese making solid contact with the ball. Alejandro Bedoya earned a yellow card for what was ruled a foul on Castellanos.

Castellanos finally got his chance to score after drawing both penalty kicks, and he put it in the back of the net in the 72nd minute to put NYCFC up 3-2. Castellanos later earned a brace in the 78th minute as he chipped Freese to put NYCFC up 4-2.

From there, the scoreboard stayed the same as the Union were unable to respond to NYCFC’s dominance. Philadelphia stays at 32 points and first in the Eastern Conference after a Montreal Impact loss and D.C. United draw.