Philadelphia Union 4 – 3 New York Red Bulls

Philadelphia Union hosted last night (Sunday) the NY Red Bulls for Round One of the Audi MLS 2019 Playoffs.  This was the first time the Union won an MLS playoff match.

Both sides were hoping for more entering these playoffs, as Philadelphia had a chance to take the top seed of the Eastern Conference, but finished third after two consecutive losses.

Similarly, the Red Bulls were looking to finish with the fourth seed and host their Round One game, but that didn’t happen either as they lost to Montreal Impact on Decision Day and dropped to sixth place.  Both sides game determined not to let things slip again, and the battle was on for most of the night.

The guests started on the front foot, which Red Bulls’ Josh Sims scoring from the penalty arc into the right side of the Unions’ goalkeeper Andre Blake (6’).  NY doubled their lead when Kaku took a penalty kick that Tim Parker tried to head in without success.  But with confusion of Blake and the Union defense, the ball just bounced in, doubling the Red Bulls lead (24’).

Alejandro Beyoda, Philly’s captain scored his team’s first goal of the night off a free kick from Haris Medujanin (30’).  However Tom Barlow still kept the New York’s two-point lead going into halftime, scoring off a failed clearance attempt by Blake (45+4’).

Philadelphia Union 4 - 3 New York Red Bulls

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline, USA Today Sports

Things did look as if they were going the Red Bulls’ way.  However the second half was all about the Union.  Hosts’ Sergio Santos’s header hit the crossbar, but was headed back into goal by teammate Jack Elliot (52’).  Fafa Picault then tied the score, heading in a cross from Santos into the box (78’).

At the end, the historic win for the hosts came when Marco Fabian got hold of a ball that was deflected off Red Bulls’ Marc Rzatkowski, and with beautifully arched it from the left side into the far right (105+1’).

Philadelphia Union will travel to Atlanta United’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the next round on Friday, October 24th).