CHESTER, PA (August 12, 2017) – Everything to play for tonight for the Philadelphia Union. After last weeks decisive win over MLS powerhouse FC Dallas at home, the Union sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. That may sound underwhelming, but a win tonight could potentially launch them to seventh place if Orlando City SC draws to New York Red Bulls. In fact they could even reach sixth place and a playoff spot if Columbus Crew SC lose to the Chicago Fire. A lot to ask for but stranger things have happened and with the match ups tonight it is entirely possible.
Impacted: Philadelphia Union Fall To Montreal Impact For Second Time This Season
Tonight they face for the the Montreal Impact third and final time. Earlier this season, the Union hosted the Impact at home. Despite going up three goals, the Impact put together a come back and drew with the Union. This is considered rock bottom and is definitely heard in this quote from Alejandro Bedoya:
“Pure frustration. I mean I’m at a loss for words. To be up 3-0 at home…..it feels like a loss. It’s hard to stomach. This team deserve better. The fans deserve better since I came to this club.”
The Impact sit ninth in the Eastern Conference standings, only two points behind the Union. A win tonight for them catapults themselves to eighth. They have all hands on deck and mostly all star players re available except for Cameroonian left back Ambroise Oyongo.
Philadelphia Union: Blake/Gaddis;Yaro;Elliot;Wijnaldum/Medunjanin;Bedoya/Ilsinho;Picault;Pontius;/Sapong
Montreal Impact: Bush/Duvall;Cabrera;Ciman;Lovitz/Piette;Dzemaili/Oduro;Bernier;Piatti/Mancosu
The second minute saw a chance for the Impact. Impact superstar Ignacio Patti put in a cross for striker Matteo Mancosu. Mancosu connected but pulled it weakly wide.
A minute later, an errant pass back to Laurent Ciman saw C.J. Sapong pick it off and run through, leaving Ciman eating grass. Despite being one on one with the keeper, Evan Bush saved the shot and the ball went far and wide. Four minutes in and both teams are getting looks.
The rest of the half would prove to be fruitless. Both sides had opportunities but minuscule at that. The half would end with zeroes on the board.
The 65th minute would finally bring back a big opportunity for the Union. After getting laid out, Chris Pontius would draw a free kick. Haris Medunjanin lofted up a free kick that met the head of Jack Elliot. Giliano Wijnaldum brought the ball down and got it to Fafa Picault. His shot was blocked and fell back to the feet of Wijnaldum. Whose shot careened off the bar and a scrum forced the ball out of bounds.
In the 69th minute, Montreal broke the tie. A Blerim Dzemaili volley sent the ball rocketing into the back of the net to give Montreal the lead. It is his fifth goal in his 12th game.
John “Helmet” McCarthy in the 90th minute got caught of his line and conceded a penalty kick. Ignacio Piatti stepped up and put away his tenth goal of the season for Montreal. He leads the team in the category.
Blerim Dzemaili’s night wasn’t done yet. Again in the 90th minute a goal for the Impact occurred as Dzemaili curled home the ball past McCarthy to extend to a 3-0 lead and subsequent win. The Impact jump the Union in the standings and shuts them out for the season.
Next week they travel to San Jose to face the San Jose Earthquakes. A major bounce back is needed to keep the season on track.