Philadelphia Union II 3-3 Inter Miami II, Union II Win PK’s 4-3

Union II

Philadelphia Union II went on the road for the first time in their MLS NEXT Pro campaign on Tuesday against Inter Miami II. The match was originally meant to be played on Sunday but was postponed due to weather issues. Both teams benefitted from this as it allowed for first-team talent to be available for selection and so the Union II ended up playing Anton Sorenson, Matt Freese, Brandon Craig, Jack McGlynn, and Paxten Aaronson. Would that be a deciding factor in this game?

Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union, Andrew Zwarych

Union II first road match

First Half 

The first 10 minutes of the game were all for the home side, Miami looked very sharp, started the game well, and definitely had chances to go into an early lead but Matt Freese made some great saves for the Union. Philly grew into the half and started to enjoy some chances of their own but nothing clear cut. 

Miami somehow failed to take the lead as they went through on goal, took the ball around Matt Freese, and then somehow managed to hit the post instead of simply placing the ball in the back of the net. Freese made another great save as we edged closer to the end of the first half but it was the Union who had the last word in the first half. 

After pushing forward and troubling the Miami backline, the Union had a corner and as the ball was delivered in, Paxten Aaronson found space near the back post and slotted the ball home to put the Union II up 1-0 heading into half-time. 

Second Half 

The entire match wasn’t really filled with the best of quality from both teams and there were a lot of little stoppages for injuries that denied either side of being a dominant force in the game. The first 10 minutes of the second half were pretty dull until Paxten Aaronson was fouled in the box and Philly was awarded a penalty. Jack McGlynn stepped up and panenka’d the keeper to put the Union II into a commanding 2-0 lead, or so they thought it was a commanding lead… 

With 15 minutes left on the clock, Inter Miami got a goal back after Romeo Beckham did what his dad was always unbelievable at and put a great ball into the box, which was headed home superbly by Cremaschi. Miami would go on to tie the game mere minutes later with a simple ball into their striker Borgelin, who chested it down and slotted it past Matt Freese. 

New Union academy signing Boubacar Diallo came on with a few minutes to play and he scored the best goal of the match and easily the best goal the Union II have scored this season with a beautiful left-footed strike from outside the box to put the Union up 3-2 with three minutes to play. 

Unfortunately for everyone involved with the Union, the scriptwriters had one more twist left for this game and in the 94th minute, Romeo Beckham put a simple ball into the box from a free-kick and striker Borgelin slotted home a very simple goal, poor defending from the Union which was a massive theme during the game.  

The game ended 3-3 but as most may not know, in the MLS NEXT Pro, if a game ends in a draw, the two teams have a penalty shootout and the winners of that take home an extra point. 

Penalty Shootout 

Miami stepped up first and slotted their penalty away and Nelson Pierre missed Union’s first penalty so it was 1-0 after the first round of spot-kicks. Miami ended up missing their 2nd penalty after hitting the post with it and Paxten Aaronson leveled it up by slotting his spot-kick away, 1-1. Both teams slotted away their 3rd and 4th spot-kicks to keep the shootout tied at 3-3 heading into the 5th penalties.

Matt Freese, who was easily man of the match and put in an incredible shift, saved Miami’s 5th penalty and Cole Turner slotted the Union’s final spot-kick away so the Union win the shootout 4-3 and take home two points from a crazy rollercoaster of a game!

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Doop on Union fans!

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union, Andrew Zwarych