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Philadelphia Union tie LAFC in six-goal thriller

Union unable to hold onto three separate leads against defending Supporters’ Shield winners

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Los Angeles FC Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Union and LAFC played an incredible and exciting match into the early hours of Monday morning here on the East Coast that ended in a 3-3 draw.

While it wasn’t what Union supporters were hoping for, it was really a match where both teams deserved a point. For any soccer fan, this was just a fun match to watch.

Coming into the late night matchup, the two sides had different outcomes last week. LAFC pulled out a 1-0 win over newly formed Miami FC, while the Union struggled in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of FC Dallas.

Jim Curtin decided to make one change from the previous week in replacing the injured Warren Crevalle with Jose “El Brujo” Martinez.

Meanwhile, LAFC decided to roll with the same squad coming off the win last week.

The Union started off strong with two quality chances before LAFC countered with a goal that was called off due to offside (thankfully) in the 4th minute. Andre Blake continued to be the stabilizing presence in net with an incredible save in the 7th minute on the shot by Rossi.

In the 14th minute, Carlos Vela came charging in with a promising chance and collided with Blake, as all Union fans held their collective breath. Thankfully Blake was able to continue to man the net. In the 21st minute Blake worked his magic in net again to keep the match at scoreless.

In the 29th minute the Union opened the scoring in the game and for the 2020 season with a beauty from Sergio Santos.

LAFC started to respond with pressure resulting in Raymon Gaddis drawing a yellow card in the 33rd minute. In the 36th minute, LAFC was awarded a golden opportunity due to a foul called on Martinez, and unfortunately Vela drove home a stunner of his own to draw it even again at 1-1.

The Union had an excellent chance to answer in the 39th minute but Kacper Przybylko failed to convert. The Union also failed on the corner that followed just minutes later. The Union were handed another yellow card, this time to Martinez in the 43rd minute. LAFC drew their first yellow card in the 45th minute when Diego Palacios made a very dangerous tackle. Yellows continued to show when Union caption, Alejandro Bedoya, was shown one for arguing with the officials.

The Union started the second half off with a bang as Jakob Glesnes offered an incredible strike in the 48th minute.

Unfortunately, LAFC answered right back as Rossi scored just a minute later.

LAFC almost had the go ahead goal in the 51st minute, but Rossi found himself offside. Blake came up with two critical and incredible saves in the 55th minute to keep the match level. In the 68th minute the Union went out in front again with a well placed goal from the 19-year-old Brenden Aaronson after he collected a pass from Santos turned and fired it home.

No, this is not a repeat...just minutes later Eddie Segura drew the score even at 3-3 in the 72nd minute.

Ilsihno came in for Santos in the 72nd minute as the first substitution for Curtin. The maddening pace continued and the Union’s second sub came in at the 83rd minute mark when Bedoya — who appeared to be nursing a knock — made way for Anthony Fontana. Blake made his seventh and possibly most important at that point save on the goal line when Rossi had a quality strike in the 85th minute.

Even with an additional 6 minutes of added time no decision could be made in terms of a victor. Things really heated up in the last two minutes with Blake having to make yet another incredible save.

Neither team could find the back of the net to secure all three points and the Union return home for Saturday’s home opener against a third straight Western Conference opponent in the San Jose Earthquakes with one point from two road games.