While a point each seemed like a fair result given how evenly the Philadelphia Union and Orlando City battled on Monday night, two plays were on captain Alejandro Bedoya’s mind afterwards when he asked if VAR was “even working.”
The first play in question came on Orlando City’s equalizer in the 70th minute. Ilsinho had just scored the first goal of the game less than two minutes earlier but the Lions were pushing into the box. Ruan got into the box and cut the ball back into the middle of the box where Bedoya was there to clear it as Nani came in and Bedoya went down.
“I thought it was a foul on me,” Bedoya said of the play. “I think the way he comes in high, and he clipped me you know when I clear the ball.”
This was the play Bedoya was talking about that happened before Orlando’s goal pic.twitter.com/HqjHoqawNR— Brotherly Game (@BrotherlyGame) July 21, 2020
The second play was just about the last play of the game. Ilsinho began the sequence when he picked off a pass near midfield and sprayed the ball to the left flank to Matt Real, who pushed forward and hit a cross that was cut down near right near the six-yard box and appeared to hit Ruan’s arm after it took a weird bounce.
“I mean, from my angle it looked like a handball but I’m not sure you know I think it was a very close,” Bedoya said. “I don’t even know if they looked at it, you know, I don’t know if they looked at Orlando’s first goal.”
Is there an angle where it doesn’t look like a handball? pic.twitter.com/3HF8ggQ4iE— Brotherly Game (@BrotherlyGame) July 21, 2020
A whistle there in what was already 1:05 past the minimum four minutes of stoppage time (due to an injury to Kai Wagner) added on would have been especially harsh for Orlando, especially since Orlando had numbers in the box and the cross didn’t look like it was going to reach either of the two Union players in the box.
“It is what it is, one point,” Bedoya said. “And you know we didn’t finish our chances they didn’t finish theirs, Andre (Blake) came up big so both teams are satisfied with the point.”
Though the Union and Orlando City finished even with 7 points through the group stage, Orlando had a one-point edge on goal differential so they ended up winning the group and the Union as a second place finisher will play Saturday night against the second place team from Group C. That could be Toronto, New England or DC United.
“The guys were warriors tonight; they worked really hard, left everything on the field,” Curtin said in his post-game interview. “On a different night you know maybe I think Ale gets clipped on their goal, which is difficult, maybe a handball at the end from what texts I’ve received so obviously yeah we want to create more chances but I still think that there was enough on the night to get a win.”