CHESTER, Pa. -- There was certainly no lack of excitement.
Sunday’s Mother's Day matinee at PPL Park featured five goals, a controversial red card, and 21 scoring chances for Philadelphia.
But the 10-man Union came up just short in a 3-2 loss to the rival New York Red Bulls.
“It’s frustrating,” said forward Danny Mwanga, who started his third game of the season. “We had a lot of chances. We got one goal in the first half and another in the second half. We were winning 2-1 even down a man. At that point maybe we could have been smarter and tried to manage the game better. At the end of day, it’s frustrating losing a game like that.”
Philadelphia managed six shots on goal and earned 11 corner kicks on the day. New York scored three goals with just four shots on target and one corner kick.
Even after Freddy Adu’s first half red card -- a second yellow for simulation -- the Union still controlled the run of play. Philadelphia took the lead in the 46th minute and had 10 second-half scoring chances.
“It didn’t really make a difference for us,” Keon Daniel said of the red card decision. “The guys know they have to come out and step it up a bit. We did that and we got chances. We just didn’t finish them. That’s the way football goes sometimes. We hit the target but we didn’t get the result we wanted.”
The highlight of the day was striker Lionard Pajoy’s brace. Pajoy scored his second and third goals of the season -- not counting his goal Wednesday vs. Schalke 04 -- and broke a personal scoreless streak dating back to the March 18 game against Colorado.
“It’s confidence, just seeing the ball hitting the back of the net,” Daniel said of Pajoy. “Just seeing that happen builds your confidence and suggests that there’s better to come.”
Sunday’s match was the first multi-goal game for the Union in 2012.
It was also just the second time this season in which Philadelphia used a starting formation with two outright strikers. Mwanga paired Pajoy in front of midfielders Gabriel Gomez, Brian Carroll, Daniel and Adu.
“(Having two strikers) makes life easier, not just for me, but for everyone else attacking,” said Mwanga. “I was trying to be in the center of the pitch and trying to occupy the two center backs. That gives Lio and Freddy the free space to go one on one, and they had shots on goal. Whenever you have more offensive players on the field it helps you create more chances. We can attack -- we can definitely create chances.”
On Sunday, the Union were simply a couple of conversions short.
HIGHLIGHTS: Red Bulls 3, Union 2