Red Bulls earn hard-fought 1-1 draw at Philadelphia Union

New York Red Bulls Philadelphia Union

Goals from Daniel Gazdag and Luquinhas in a crazy second half saw 10-man Red Bulls stay unbeaten on the road at the Philadelphia Union. Dylan Nealis was sent off for a questionable second yellow. The Union thought they had scored a second, only to see it chalked off.

New York remains unbeaten on the road, while Philadelphia stretches its winless league run to five.

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The always reliable Andre Blake was in goal for the Union. Nathan Harriel and Kai Wagner are the full-backs, they didn’t play in the midweek loss at Orlando City in the Open Cup. Jakob Glesnes partners Jack Elliot — who did play in Orlando and at LAFC last weekend. Alejandro Bedoya captains the side along with Jose Martinez and Leon Flach. Daniel Gazdag is in behind Julian Carranza and Sergio Santos.

Patryk Klimala returns for the Red Bulls after being placed in health and safety protocols, the very reason that Lewis Morgan misses out. Aaron Long is fit but only for a place on the bench, both Dylan and Sean Nealis are the centerbacks in front of net minder Carlos Coronel. John Tolkin and Tom Edwards are the fullbacks. Cristian Casseres Jr misses out due to yellow card accumulation, so Frankie Amaya and Dru Yearwood make up the midfield pivot. Tom Barlow is up top, along with Luquinhas and Omir Fernandez.

Philadelphia lineup (4-4-2 diamond): Andre Blake; Kai Wagner, Jack Elliot, Jakob Glesnes, Nathan Harriel; (C) Alejandro Bedoya, Jose Martinez, Leon Flach; Daniel Gazdag, Julian Carranza, Sergio Santos

Union subs: Matthew Freese, Matthew Real, Stuart Findlay, Olivier Mbaizo, Jesus Bueno, Paxten Aaronson, Jack McGlynn, Quinn Sullivan, Cory Burke

Red Bulls lineup (4-2-3-1): Carlos Coronel; John Tolkin, Dylan Nealis, (C) Sean Nealis, Tom Edwards; Frankie Amaya, Dru Yearwood; Tom Barlow, Luquinhas, Omir Fernandez; Patryk Klimala

New York subs: Ryan Meara, Jason Pendant, Aaron Long, Daniel Edelman, Cameron Harper, Jesus Castellano, Zach Ryan

First Half: Very, very little to separate the sides

The opening first stanza played as expected, it was tight and it featured few clear moments for both teams. The teams combined for an expected goals value of less than one, while both keepers were called into action. New York at times deployed a three-man defense due to its absences in the lineup. Omir Fernandez operated on the wing and also as a wing-back looking to drive at the opposition. In transition moments, decision making let both teams down as attacks stopped and rhythm was scarce.

Union had more corners than the Red Bulls at five to two, and used in-swinging balls to keep Coronel close to his goal-line. The Brazilian was equal to this and punched a ball out when he had difficulty catching. He also had to make a tough save on Bedoya’s header from close range, the Union’s best chance of the half. Andre Blake also shined, as he made an easy save from Luquinhas with clear room to spare. He also made a quick-reaction stop to Klimala’s effort at the near post.

Not many fouls committed between the two teams, the rivals only had one yellow card between them, going to Dylan Nealis. Much of the action went down the flanks, with Tolkin and Harriet leading the game in tackles won.

Second Half: Gazdag, Luquinhas trade goals in a crazy second half

Just minutes into the restart, the Union take the lead. Sean Nealis tried to head the ball away, it went as far as Daniel Gazdag. He played a one-two at the edge of the box with Sergio Santos, giving the Hungarian an easy shot to score. A melee ensued minutes after, and a handful of yellow cards were handed out. It then went from bad to worse for the Red Bulls with Dylan Nealis getting a second yellow and being sent off.

The Union then drove in numbers and nearly doubled their lead. However, Red Bulls would level the score. Cameron Harper, who was subbed on for Klimala, laid a low cross into the feet of Luquinhas. The Brazilian smashed it effort past Blake for the equalizer. It’s his second goal of the year. 

Philadelphia thought they had taken the lead late on. Julian Carranza had tapped in the goal after a Santos header, but it was chalked off for an offside after a VAR review. Everything that didn’t happen in the first half would be escalated in the second. It was a hard-fought game, both teams leave with a point. 

Three Takeaways from Philadelphia Union vs New York Red Bulls

Luquinhas is the truth. He now has two league goals, two assists to go along with a goal and an assist in the Open Cup. The Brazilian is rapidly becoming one of the best club signings in recent memory. No doubt, the missing link that this team was desperate for, and his quality is showing on a weekly basis. If he keeps this up, he’ll be regarded as one of the very best in all of MLS.

Philadelphia are slipping slowly. Without a win in over a month, much of the hot start has now dissipated. While they are tied for first in the conference, it’s the recent run of results that’s given a bit of cause for concern. Conceding while down a man will always get a coach pulling the hair out, and so Jim Curtain will wonder what more needs to be done to get back to winning ways.

The Eastern Conference is crowded. While it was a game between first and second, it is now Montreal and Orlando occupying those spots respectively. At the top also sees FC Cincinnati high up with a fourth straight league win. And don’t look now, but NYCFC are rising up the table as well. Expect tough battles between all these teams on a weekly basis.




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