A Treacherous tie: Philadelphia Union 2-2 Montreal Impact

The wind was howling, the rain was pouring and the night was looming, but that didn’t stop the Sons of Ben from cheering the Philadelphia Union on all night long, through the good, the bad and the ugly. A game that ultimately resulted in a solid point for the Union, but what looks like a disappointing one retrospectively.

There was much drama to be had in the tricky conditions but the game started off perfectly for the home side. Just eight minutes into the contest, Rookie Eric Ayuk got the start over Andrew Wenger and certainly made the most of it. He fired a scorcher from the edge of the box to score his second goal of his career and the inevitable flips followed. Union fans had been worried that whilst Wenger has been struggling, there is a lack of talent to replace him with..Ayuk has laid those worries to rest.

However 20 minutes later, the game was back to a level playing field. We warned about how dangerous Piatti is and he demonstrated that by scoring his fourth goal of the season. He carved his way through the back four with some genius cuts and skill, leaving defenders scratching their head to then power one past Sylvestre from the top of the box.

In the second half, things were to get scrappy. A red card in the 67th minute with the teams still tied saw Impact captain Patrice Bernier ejected by the referee for his second yellow. A nasty tackle on Nogueira was the cause as the Sons of Ben started to sense the momentum shift.

But then less than five minutes later, that momentum train was stopped early. The Impact went 1-2 up following a strike by none other than…you guessed it, Jack McInerney. The Union’s former top goalscorer turned off Richie Marquez and followed the move with a precise finish. What followed was a tense few moments of Boo’s from the home fans as their former striker tried to send a message.

With hopes of a much needed win being quickly dashed, the Union responded with an urgent flash of pace. Fabinho unleashed a terrific strike that bounced back to Captain Maurice Edu who then tapped in the easy finish for his first of the season. The Union were level again, but things were about to get scrappy..and fast.

Super rookie Eric Ayuk received his second bookable offence following a challenge on Piatti, making it a level playing field with both sides now a man down.

The pace quickly shot through the roof as despite the weather dictating otherwise, this was a hotly contested affair. Piatti missed a sitter for the Impact and looked distraught before Edu also missed from point blank range. The Union thought they had found themselves a late winner in the 82nd minute from defender Richie Marquez, but the goal was called back as an offisde. The game ended as a 2-2 draw, a game that the Union will feel like they should have won. But in these conditions, a point is as good a result as any. It was wildy unpredictable and difficult to anticipate the trajectory of the ball, the Union played some good, solid soccer and can be proud of their performance. Despite Ayuk’s red card, he had a great game..some rookie tendencies but definitely a flash for the future.

It’s a small break now for the Union, a chance for reflection and reshaping. Le Toux should be back in the lineup for the next fixture against the Portland Timbers at home on the 12th of July, as should a few more of the Union’s regulars. The games are becoming more and more important but a fully revived Union side may well have the upper hand in a couple of weeks time.

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