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Philadelphia Union II earns a point at Chicago Fire II

In a back-and-forth game with multiple penalty kicks and red cards, the Union II gave up a late goal and lost the penalty shootout

Matt Ralph

The Philadelphia Union II drew their match against Chicago Fire II on Sunday evening 3-3. Despite holding a one goal lead with mere minutes left in the game, Philadelphia allowed Chicago to take a late tying goal, and then failed to stop the Fire II on penalty kicks.

Philadelphia showed some relative frustration early on with the referee, as Juan Perdomo picked up an early yellow card. Referee Laura Rodriguez then called back a promising attack for Philadelphia due to a foul against Chicago at midfield. Rodriguez also showed two other yellow cards in the opening five minutes of play to Chicago Fire II players.

The Union II appeared to strike first, as Chris Donovan hammered the ball into the net while standing alone near the goal area. However, after complaints from Chicago players and a conversation with her AR, Rodriguez called the goal back for an offsides offense on Donovan.

Immediately after, Chicago earned a penalty shot after a foul by Nathan Nkanji. Chicago’s Victor Bezerra narrowly beat Union II goalkeeper Brooks Thompson at the left post, but put the Fire II up 1-0 all the same.

Philadelphia put together a good attack in the first half, as they created several solid chances, including a near miss from Donovan that forced a fingertip save from Chicago Fire II keeper Mihajlo Miskovic. On the other end, Thompson made a good save in front of his near post to stop a point blank blast from Bezerra in the 32nd minute.

The Union II missed two important opportunities, as Miskovic made two goalline saves to protect his team’s lead, as Donovan failed to score on a shot from a scuffle and a header from six yards out with ten minutes remaining in the first half.

Moments later, Chicago Fire II capitalized on a moment of weakness from Thompson, as Chinonso Offor gave Chicago a 2-0 lead as Thompson came off of his line too early.

After just a few minutes into the second half, the Union II drew a penalty of their own by way of a foul against Carlos Paternina. Union first-team player Cole Turner calmly found the right side netting to bring the game to within one goal.

The intensity grew quickly after the Union II’s goal. Bezerra was shown a yellow card for dissent after Turner’s goal and a second yellow for a tackle on first team player Brandan Craig.

The Union II didn’t take long to even the score after Chicago went a man down, as Donovan’s header found the net after a cross from Boubacar Diallo in the 58th minute, tying the game 2-2.

The Union II weren’t able to enjoy their man-advantage for as long as they liked, as Jack Jasinski saw a red card just outside Philadelphia’s penalty area in his season debut. Thankfully for the Union, Thompson — who was making his Union II debut — made a fantastic save to keep the ball just out of the net. Just seconds later, the Union II found their first lead of the game after Donovan tucked the ball past Miskovic to make the score 3-2 in the 72nd minute.

As the clock ticked past the 90th Chicago wasn’t quite finished. A corner kick late in the match found Offor, who earned a brace as he tied the game at 3-3 in stoppage time and forced kicks from the mark to decide the winner.

Both sides made their first shots, but Miskovic stopped Jackson Gilman’s attempt from the spot. Both teams made the remainder of their shots, as Chicago Fire II earned the extra point.

Offseason acquisitions Thompson, Jose Riasco and Maike Villero all made their first appearances for Union II and academy player Bajung Darboe made his Next Pro debut for Union II in the match. Donovan became the seventh goal-scorer for Union II this season and now leads the team with two goals.

The Union II play their next match against New York City II at home on Sunday, April 30. They currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

GOALS/ASSISTS
CHI – Victor Bezerra (PK) 17’
CHI – Chinonso Offor (Charlie Ostrem) 37’
PHI – Cole Turner (PK) 51’
PHI – Chris Donovan (Boubacar Diallo) 57’
PHI – Chris Donovan (Nathan Nkanji) 72’
CHI – Chinonso Offor (Kendall Burks) 90+1’

DISCIPLINARY SUMMARY
PHI – Juan Perdomo (caution) 2’
CHI – Missael Rodriguez (caution) 5’
PHI – Boubacar Diallo (caution) 45+1’
CHI – Victor Bezerra (caution) 52’
CHI – Victor Bezerra (second caution, ejection) 56’
PHI – Jack Jasinski (ejection) 70’
PHI – Brooks Thompson (caution) 83’

Lineups

Philadelphia Union II: Brooks Thompson; Francis Westfield (Bajung Darboe 66’), Jackson Gilman, Brandan Craig, Nathan Nkanji (Jose Riasco 82’); Carlos Paternina (Stefan Stojanovic 66’), Cole Tuner, Juan Perdomo (Ian Abbey 46’), Boubacar Diallo (Maike Villero 84’) ; Jack Jasinski, Chris Donovan.

Substitutes not used: Owen Moore, Andrew Rick, Daniel Krueger, Logan Oliver.

Chicago Fire FC II: Mihajlo Miskovic; Diegoarmando Alvarado, Kendall Burks, Ryan Quintos, Charlie Ostrem; Allan Rodriguez (Alex Monis 60’), Richard Fleming; Victor Bezerra, Matteo Kidd, Missael Rodriguez (Josh Penn 76’); Chinonso Offor.

Substitutes not used: Christian Baumgartner, Luke Bezerra, Noeh Hernandez, Carlo Ritaccio, Omari Glasgow, Michael Flores, Adrian Giron.