Liga MX team Puma UNAM traveled to Talen Energy Stadium to take on the Philadelphia Union Saturday night, in an International Friendly night that ended up being not-so-friendly.
Puma supporters showed up in impressive numbers, taking over Section 133, and showing their support across the rest of the stands as well. Union fans… not so much (though that’s to be expected from a friendly).
The game started casually enough, with the Union going up 3-0 after goals from Anthony Fontana, Andrew Wooten, and Fafa Picault. Wooten missed several open shots that he should’ve finished, but aside from that, the Union looked strong.
However, things turned sour at the end of the first half, as Fafa Picault was taken down near the penalty area by Pumas’ Juan Iturbe, who was subsequently ejected. Immediately following, Pumas’ Juan Pablo Vigon was given two yellows for dissent and was also ejected as a fight broke out on the field.
Thankfully, Picault avoided injury, and both sides calmed down at halftime, and the game more or less continued smoothly, although there were 5 cards awarded in the second half. Ten cards (counting yellow/yellow/red for Vigon) were awarded in total.
There was no other scoring in the second half, although, and the game ended 3-0 in the Union’s favor.
Post-game, Head Coach Jim Curtin noted how beneficial International Friendlies against teams like Pumas UNAM are. “When you play against top teams like Pumas, you get to test yourself,” he said.
Curtin also mentioned how important it was to keep his squad fresh for the coming weeks. “With the stretch coming up... we’re going to use our entire roster,” he said.
The next game in the Union’s final push for the playoffs comes next week at Talen Energy Stadium against first place LAFC; Saturday, September 14 at 7:30 ET. Until then, cheers.