The Philadelphia Union fell 3-2 against Minnesota United on Wednesday night in a dramatic showdown in Allianz Arena. The loss marks a second straight road game with points dropped for Philadelphia, as they stay in third place in the Eastern Conference with four matches left.
Play in Minnesota started intensely, with both teams coming out firing. While Minnesota looked stronger on the attack early on, the Union was aggressive, picking up the first foul within a few minutes, and a yellow card on Olivier Mbaizo in the 5th minute. That yellow card, an egregious push on MNUFC’s Emanuel Reynoso, set the tone for what would be a competitive matchup.
Both teams looked solid throughout the first half, though Minnesota looked slightly the better team early on. Their work paid off toward the end of the first 45, as Jose Martinez gave MNUFC a good chance with a poor giveaway near the penalty area. After a poor defensive effort from Jakob Glesnes, Adrien Hunou snuck the ball past Andre Blake’s near post and gave the Loons the 1-0 lead.
Minnesota’s lead wouldn’t last long, as the Union responded before the end of the half. With less than two minutes left in the first half, Jamiro Montiero received the ball just at the center end of the Loons’ penalty area and laid the ball off for Daniel Gazdag. With one swift kick, Gazdag made the match 1-1, and the Union entered halftime with strong momentum.
That momentum stayed with the Union in the early part of the second half, as they attacked toward goal in the first ten minutes. A good header by Alejandro Bedoya near the goal was saved by Tyler Miller, then deflected off of the crossbar, and then ended up in front of Gazdag, who promptly earned himself a brace on the evening.
The Union’s passion wouldn’t stay with them, and the Loons changed the tide of the game nine minutes later. After a poor giveaway by Olivier Mbaizo 25 yards out from goal, Reynoso raced past Jakob Glesnes, gave the ball to Robin Lod, who then blasted the ball past Blake to make the match 2-2 at the 63’.
Just a few minutes later, Kai Wagner would show some weakness, after some miscommunication with Glesnes, turned the ball over to Minnesota near the net. After Blake demonstrated an impressive save, Minnesota’s Franco Fragapane placed the ball into the empty net, giving MNUFC the 3-2 lead and the win.
However, the game would not be quite over. The Union continued a strong attack for the remainder of the second half, and in the 77th minute worked the ball into the box. After Martinez went down, Wagner rushed Romain Métanire to grab the ball. Métanire, in turn, responded by throwing the ball at Wagner, who went down in a heap. Wagner was fine, but Métanire received a red card all the same.
The Union used the man advantage to create a strong attack in the final 15 minutes of the match, but to no avail for the visitors. Despite several good attacks, Tyler Miller and his back line stood strong, and Minnesota finished the match on top.
After Wednesday’s loss, the Union returns home for an important match against second-place Nashville SC on Saturday evening.