At a sunny, cool and breezy 47′ 15MPH winds, Talen Energy Stadium, two rivals met on the penultimate MLS regular season Sunday. The Philadelphia Union (15-12-5, 50 Pts, 4th Place Eastern Conference) looked to improve their playoff seeding, while the New York Red Bulls (20-7-5, 65Pts, 2nd Place) still had their eye on the Supporters Shield prize.
Ultimately due to a mid second half hand ball PK, it was the large contingent of Red Bull supporters among the 18,021 that went home happy with a 1-Nil NYRB win.
NYRB Starting XI: 4-2-3-1
GK: Luis Robles (C), D’s Michael Murillo, Tim Parker, Aaron Long, Connor Lade; MFs Tyler Adams, Sean Davis, Marc Rzatkowski, Kaku, Alex Muyl; F Bradley Wright-Phillips
Union Starting XI: 4-2-3-1
GK Andre Blake; Ds Raymon Gaddis, Auston Trusty, Keegan Rosenberry, Mark McKenzie; MFs Alejandro Bedoya (C), Haris Medunjanin, Fafa Picault, Borek Dockal; Fs CJ Sapong, Cory Burke
We have seen this movie before with the U looking to be the better team, 9-2 shot and 66-34 possession advantage, but nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. The best chance the Union may have had was when they had a nice cross into the box in the 40′, but Fafa’s shot was blocked by another Union player. NY’s best chance was when Blake came out of the goal too far and Kaku’s blast hit the near post in the 35′.
The play got quite chippy late in the half ending with a scrum just in front of the Union goal, but the refs let it go with no infractions.
The second half was more of the same, as overall the U outshot NYRB 14-8, but 2-4 on target, and still lead possession by a 66-34 advantage. They never took advantage of those discrepancies as too often there were too many touches, and not enough good shots or real chances.
The game turned quickly when after a Var review, a handball by Bedoya in the box, which was initially not called by the ref in 65,’ gave the Red Bulls a PK ,which Kaku buried in 69′.
The U were never able to even get close to scoring so the game ended with a 1-Nil Red Bull victory.
Derrick Etienne for Rzatkowski Halftime
Andreas Ivan for Muyl 82′
Cristian Cásseres Jr for Alejandro Romero 90 ‘+2’
Ilsinho for Sapong 63′
Jay Simpson for Picault 81′
It is always a a disappointing loss when it comes down to a PK. The Union controlled play much of the match but it is the final score that matters.
They need to rebound next week against NYFC in NY to be in a good frame of mind for the playoffs.
The Union are in the playoffs. It is still to be determined when or where.
The first knockout round will be on October 31st and November 1st.
Per the below if they can beat NYFC in NY next week, they can wind up in third place and get a home playoff game in that knockout round.