CHESTER, PA – Philadelphia Union hosted New England Revolution on Wednesday night. It was the first midweek matchday of the 2021 MLS season as both teams had a double game week. A goal scored after a controversial Kacper Przybylko elbow on New England goalkeeper Matt Turner decided the game.
Union Draw Revolution on Controversial Kacper Przybylko Elbow Play
Both teams came into this game trying to win. The Union were coming off a big win on the weekend, having advanced to the CCL Semifinals. New England had played well in their first three games but lost a tough game at Nashville SC.
Sergio Santos had the best chance of the first half on the half hour. Olivier Mbaizo crossed the ball into the six yard box with Santos at the near post. The striker volleyed the ball towards goal with a flick but Turner was in a good position to make the point-blank save.
The Revs turned it on in the second half and were on the front foot for large stretches. Carles Gil led the chance creation. They got their goal in the 85th minute. The knocked the ball around the box, with DeJuan Jones getting the ball out wide, cutting inside, then after an exchange with Gustavo Bou, before tapping it to Teal Bunbury, who slotted it inside the near post (falling down in the process).
The Union tied it just three minutes later. Jamiro Monteiro found some time and space in the corner and crossed the ball to Przybylko in front of goal. The striker and goalkeeper went up for the ball. It appeared that Przybylko’s elbow deflected the ball as his elbow made contact with Turner’s head. The striker eventually finished the play off with a header. The goal stood and the match ended 1-1.
— PhilaUnion🛡 (@PhilaUnion) May 13, 2021
Three Key Takeaways:
Playoff energy: These are two very good teams and they played a tight and intense match. At times, both played more not to lose rather than win. It had a playoff energy to it.
Revs strikers stalled: For all plaudits for Gil and the Revs defensive structure, Adam Buksa and Bou have struggled finishing their chances this season. Buksa had one good look in this game, but other than that, they were held in check.
Elbow controversy: The Union goal and Przybylko’s handball/elbow to the keeper that led to it will be the talking point. Given the contact between the players, I can understand handball not being called. But Turner went down holding his face and 99% of the time that’s immediately whistled for a foul on the attacking field player. I’m shocked the goal stood and VAR wasn’t consulted to rule that a foul.