Union and Red Bulls Renew Rivalry in Front of Sold Out Crowd
Sold out crowd for rivalry match.
Last night the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls, renewed their rivalry on prime-time television, as their match was broadcast on FS1(Fox Sports 1). The race for first in the Eastern Conference Table is heating up, as NYCFC remains just three points ahead of the Union and five points ahead of the Red Bulls atop the conference. There was clearly a lot to be played for in last night’s match, as both teams were looking to inch closer to first place.
Union head coach Jim Curtin mentioned a few days prior to Sunday nights big match, his squad would have their hands full on defense, as the Red Bulls are known for a dominate front line and 2nd in the MLS in assists. The team’s offense would display just that, as they began the scoring summary 26 minutes into the match. Bradley Phillips picked Union’s, Ken Tribbett’s pocket and and set up the always dangerous Sacha Kljestian, who slammed home his third goal of the season to give the Red Bulls a 1-0 lead. A little less than 20 minutes later, the Red Bulls would increase their lead to 2-0 on a penalty kick, after Union’s forward Ilsinho was issued a yellow card in the 43rd minute. The Red Bulls sent multiple runners into the box, setting up Kljestian, who would net his second goal of the night, which took quite the deflection fooling Union goalkeeper Andre Blake.
The Union’s offense on the other hand struggled to get anything going their way early in the first half. Turnovers, off-sides, and near misses cost the team from getting on the scoreboard. In the 8th minute, Union’s star forward C.J. Sapong thought he had scored the games first goal, however the officials called it back as he played the ball after stepping out of bounds.
It was a tale of two teams during the the second half. After being out-played the majority of the 1st half, the Union found their stride as they began increasing their time in possession of the ball which would allude to an increase in quality scoring chances. They would finally catch a break in the 65th minute, when Keegan Rosenberry sent a gorgeous pass to Chris Pontius who would be taken down in front of the Red Bulls cage by Sal Zizzo. The tackle resulted in a yellow card and the Union were granted a penalty shot. C.J. Sapong stepped up for his team and confidently powered home the penalty shot, cutting the Red Bulls lead in half. Clearly this jolted the Union as they would tie the game just 78 seconds later. As Keegan Rosenberry crossed the half-way line, he found a streaking Fabian Herbers who laid across a beauty of a pass to Chris Pontius who would then slam home the game’s tying goal.
In the 72nd minute, Union’s froward Ilsinho was issued a red card after his arm got in the face of Connor Lade. The team would have to play a man short for the final nine minutes of regulation, however they would hold their own and generate two quality scoring opportunities. In the 80th minute, Fabian Herbers recovered a blocked pass and found Tranquillo Barnetta in front of the cage, however his shot sailed just above the cross bar. In the final minute of play Le Toux, Barnetta, and Sapong sprinted into the Red Bulls box but failed to execute a goal as captain Dax McCarty knocked C.J. Sapong off the ball.
The hard-fought match would end in a 2-2 draw, despite the three minutes of extra time. Both teams acquired a point, however would remain in 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the Eastern Conference Table, since 1st place NYCFC defeated Montreal earlier in the day.
The Union return to U.S. Open play on Wednesday at 7:30 pm, as they take on the New England Revolution in the quarter finals at Jordan Field. They will then resume MLS play on Saturday July 23rd at 7:30 pm when face division rival, Montreal Impact.
Post Game Interviews:
Union Head Coach Jim Curtin
Union Forward C.J. Sapong
New York Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch
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