Union II are sitting on five points through two games after a 3-3 draw and penalty kick win away at Inter Miami II on Tuesday night.
It was a very mediocre start for both teams in a game originally scheduled to be played on Sunday. They were sizing each other up, trying to figure out how to punch the opponent. An early foul led to a dangerous free-kick to the right of the box, a medium distance out. A slip led to an open header for Inter Miami that went over the bar. In the 12th minute, Union II finally got into the game. The typical strong Union press forced Miami into a sloppy turnover, but the resulting shot was just wide. The Union II had more strong possession leading to a promising crossing chance and a great shot by Cole Turner but it was also wide.
Miami had a great spell of the game around the 20th minute. A Union fullback not checking behind him allowed David Beckham’s son Romeo to get in. Matt Freese came off his line to block the angle, which helped as Beckham’s shot hit the iron. Miami though soon had the ball again. Beckham would play two good crosses into the box, the second resulting in a good chance. In 2 minutes of game time, Miami had three bonafide chances.
For the next few minutes, there was a lot of possession by both teams in the middle third, with nothing really breaking for each team. In the 30th minute, the Union had a free-kick a bit far from the box on the left side, but Brandan Craig’s attempt went a bit long and ended up being an easy catch for the Miami keeper, former Union Academy player CJ dos Santos.
Craig had another chance from a set piece in the 46th minute when he hit a high in-swinging ball to the back post, which Paxten Aaronson put home to give U2 a lead just before halftime.
Miami made two subs at halftime while the Union kept the same XI. It was a cagey start to the second half with some hard fouls mixed in. In the 51st minute, Miami had another dangerous shot but Freese would come up with another good save. In the 57th minute, Inter Maimi 2 picked up their first yellow card on the night. Soon after, Union II worked the ball into a threatening position but the cross left more to be desired.
The Union made their first two substitutions as the hour mark passed. Nelson Pierre came on for Stojanovic and Ian Abbey replaced Chris Donavan. Almost immediately Abbey made a great run. Also in the 63rd minute, Miami got a yellow card. A minute later Miami was in the Union’s attacking third and took a long shot on target forcing Freese to make yet another good save. After this, U2 ran upfield and the other fresh sub almost got on the score sheet, but his pass was cleared by the last defender. A big chance came for the Union to double the lead in the 66th minute when Aaronson was taken down in the box. Like he did in the playoffs against Nashville, Jack McGlynn walked up confidently to take the kick and chipped it down the middle. The Union were in full control up 2-0, or so it would seem.
At the 75th mark, Freese, who had been amazing all game made a blunder to allow Miami to get on the board. The goal by Benjamin Cremaschi was assisted by Beckham. A minute later though U2 would bring the ball into their attacking third and would win a corner, but the well taken corner was headed away.
A lapse in concentration for U2 in the 81st would lead to a familiar face grabbing an equalizer for the hosts. Union Academy grad and former U2 forward Shanyder Borgelin was about to get inside position on the center-back when he received a great pass from Beckham, turned, and fired a shot into the net.
This would be followed by another sub for Union 2. This time bringing on Boubacar Diallo to replace Carlos Paternina out on the right on the midfield diamond. Miami was looking like the more dangerous team and like they would get all three points. They were probing, looking for ways in. They would get a few chances and force Freese to make another save. In the 88th minute, the Union would go down and Diallo would slot the ball into the bottom right of the goal. Craig had the assist on this goal too, his second of the day.
Now in the lead, U2 was trying to keep the ball away and in the corner to run out the clock. It was working. They were seeing the lead out and getting ready to return home with the win, but Beckham had other ideas. He found Borgelin in the box again in the 94th minute and he slotted the ball home for Miami’s third goal.
The 90 minutes finished with a disappointing draw but with MLS Next Pro sending all ties to penalty kicks, the Union were able to grab a second point. Freese saved Miami’s fifth penalty and Cole Turner hit the decisive penalty for the visitors.
U2 will be back at home on Sunday, hosting Columbus Crew 2 at 5 p.m.
Miss last night's thriller? We've got the highlights from our @MLSNEXTPRO contest. pic.twitter.com/kfvtUQ1ove— Philadelphia Union II (@PhilaUnionII) April 6, 2022
PHI – Paxten Aaronson (Brandan Craig)
45’+2’PHI – Jack McGlynn (PK)
68’ MIA – Benjamin Cremaschi (Romeo Beckham)
74’ MIA – Shanyder Borgelin (Romeo Beckham)
81’PHI – Boubacar Diallo (Brandan Craig)
88’ MIA – Shanyder Borgelin (Romeo Beckham) 90’+4’
MIA – Modesto Mendez (caution) 63’
MIA – Romeo Beckham (caution) 90’+1’
Philadelphia Union II: Matt Freese; Anton Sorenson, Brandan Craig, Jackson Gilman,Francis Westfield; Paxten Aaronson, Cole Turner, Jack McGlynn, Carlos Paternina (Boubacar Diallo 82’) ; Chris Donovan (Ian Abbey 63’), Stefan Stojanovic (Nelson Pierre 62’) . Substitutes not used: Juan Perdomo, Edgar Alguera-Mercado, Nathan Nkanji, Jack Jasinski.
Inter Miami CF II: CJ dos Santos; Logan Batiste, Modesto Mendez, Aimé Mabika (Tyler Hall 46’), Harvey Neville; Bryce Duke (Braxton Taghvai-Najib 46’), George Acosta (Kobi Thomas 79’), Abel Caputo (Benjamin Cremaschi 62’); Romeo Beckham, Shaan Hundal (Shanyder Borgelin 62’) , Edison Azcona.
Substitutes not used: Andre Zuluaga-Silva, Lawson Sunderland, Tyler Bagley, Dairon Reyes.