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Escape from New Jersey

The Union avoided disaster to pick up an unlikely point against the New York Red Bulls

MLS: Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

All seemed lost for the Philadelphia Union in the 57th minute.

It was one of the oddest moments in recent memory for Union fans. Since the start of the second half, the Union looked primed to score a goal. They started building up their attack and retaining possession in the opponent’s half. With a corner kick it looked like the Union were on their way to gaining that elusive goal. Moments later the match would be flipped upside down for the Union.

A back pass from Jakob Glesnes with a defender on his back turned into one of the most remarkable sequences of events in Union history (and not for good reasons). Instead of clearing the ball, goalkeeper Matt Freese ended up rolling the ball back and hugging Wikelman Carmona. It was a clear red for denying a clear goal. Freese would be sent off, the Union dropping down to 10 men and relying on third keeper Joe Bendik to perform some heroics. Patryk Klimala put it away to put the Red Bulls up 1-0.

After a good while of neither team doing much, the Union somehow managed to level the match in the 85th minute. A crafty quick throw in from Alejandro Bedoya led to a superb Olivier Mbaizo cross that found Sergio Santos in the box. Out of nowhere the Union were level and able to snatch a point from the jaws of defeat.

“Proud of the fight, the grit,” head coach Jim Curtin said on the comeback draw. “Any time you can take points on the road from a rival is big. You guys see the table... A point goes a long way.”

As important as it was to work out a point with all odds against them, the Union are now winless in their last three matches.

Over the last five matches the Union have a 1-3-1 record. They must get it going at home against D.C. United on July 17. Hopefully tonight’s comeback will inspire a win in front of the home fans at Subaru Park.