The Union controlled the game from start to finish, extending their home league unbeaten streak to 19 games and winning their second-consecutive game by six goals.
The Union jumped on the Rapids less than ten minutes into the game when Gazdag ran onto Mikael Uhre’s chested Kai Wagner long ball and buried it past keeper William Yarbrough from close range. The goal was Gazdag’s 14th of the season.
Colorado had a flurry of chances on the quarter hour but couldn’t convert. Collen Wagner had a shot saved by Andre Blake, and a minute later, Michael Barrios played a dangerous ball into the box, but defender Danny Wilson missed the header from inside the six. Unfortunately for the visitors, that was as close as they’d come to winning for the rest of the evening.
Gazdag doubled the Union’s lead in the 19th minute. After Carranza was denied by Yarbrough on a cross by Uhre, Gazdag and Uhre combined on a give-and-go, sending Gazdag clear to goal. But the Union midfielder was pulled down from behind by Anthony Markanich, and referee Allen Chapman immediately pointed to the spot. Gazdag froze Yarbrough, beating the keeper to his left for his first multi-goal game of the season.
Ten minutes later, the Union pressed the Colorado backline again, and Olivier Mbazio beat Gustavo Vallecilla before the Colorado defender hacked him down, resulting in another penalty. Carranza converted to extend the lead to 3-0, his 13th goal on the season.
The game got worse for the visitors in the 35th minute when Vallecilla pulled down Uhre on the sideline, earning his second booking and an early trip to the showers. Up a man, the Union continued to dominate play, creating more attacks that almost ended with a second for Carranza in the 38th minute from a Wagner cross. The Union cruised into the break with a three-goal cushion.
Uhre almost added a fourth over five minutes after the break when he powered past the Colorado defenders, but his chip was swiped away by Yarbrough and his ensuing touch bounced off the outside of the post. Gazdag nearly had his third in the 55 th minute when he finished off a long Union string of possession, but his low left-footed shot was pushed out of the corner by the Colorado keeper. Carranza almost had his second three minutes later when Wagner sent in a whipping cross that the Argentine striker nicked wide with a diving header.
In the final thirty minutes, the Union cruised, maintaining large chunks of possession. Gazdag got the hat-trick he deserved seven minutes from the end when he ran onto Cory Burke’s through ball, chipping Yarbrough for his 16th of the season, tying CJ Sapong for the most in a regular season. Gazdag now sits alongside Nashville’s Hany Mukhtar and only trails Austin’s Sebastian Driussi (19) for most goals in the league.
Burke added his name to the score sheet four minutes from the end, hammering home the rebound from Jack McGlynn’s shot from distance. Burke now has three goals in four games.
Real scored the Union’s 6th in stoppage time, drilling home Wagner’s pass to score his first of the season. With two assists on the night, Wagner now has 12, one behind Carles Gil and three behind Luciano Acosta for most in MLS. Blake earned his 12th shutout of the season and is one behind NYCFC’s Sean Johnson for the MLS lead. With the win, the Union maintain their five-point lead over CF Montréal for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and are only three points behind LAFC in the Supporters’ Shield race.
The Union will be back in action Wednesday night, hosting Atlanta United at 7:30.
PHI: Gazdag 9’
PHI: Gazdag 20’ (PK)
PHI: Carranza 30’ (PK)
PHI: Gazdag 83’
PHI: Burke 87’
PHI: Real 90+1’
COL: Vallecilla 7’
COL: Priso-Mbongue 11’
COL: Warner 28’
COL: Vallecilla 35’
COL: Vallecella 35’
Union: Blake, Mbaizo, Glesnes, Elliott, Martinez (McGlynn 62’), Bedoya (Real 85’), Flach, Gazdag (Sullivan 85’), Uhre (Aaronson 74’), Carranza (Burke 62’)
Unused subs: Freese, Harriel, Bueno, Donovan
Colorado: Yarbrough, Rosenberry, Vallecilla, Wilson (Abubakar 26’, Moor 46’), Markanich, Nicholson, Warner, Barrios (Yapi 63’), Priso-Mbongue (Guitiérrez 71’), Zardes (Lucas Esteves 46’)
Unused subs: Irwin, Lewis, Max, Rubio