Match Recap

Recap | Carranza’s brace sees Union take down NYCFC on the road

WebContent_Match Recap

With a pair of goals from Julian Carranza, Philadelphia Union extended its unbeaten streak to seven with a 3-1 road win over rivals New York City FC.

After falling behind on the road, the Union rallied back with Carranza notching his sixth and seventh goals in league play in first half stoppage time to seize momentum. The Union forward then earned a penalty for the Boys in Blue where Daniel Gazdag remained perfect in 2023 to make it three unanswered for the Union.

Facing off for the first time since the memorable 2022 Eastern Conference Final, where on the compact surface where small details loomed large. New York City FC showed they were used to the narrow-sided pitch, with captain Keaton Parks sending a volley over the Union defense that forced a quick clearance from center back Damion Lowe in the sixth minute of play. City tested three-time MLS Goalkeeper on the Year Andre Blake for the first time a moment later with a set piece play off the training ground as Santiago Rodriguez opted for a low cross into the box where he connected with an unmarked run by Gabriel Pereira who ripped a shot at Blake but was denied.

After a Union counter attack saw Daniel Gazdag’s shot from outside the box fired wide of NYC’s net, the hosts were again on the attack with Richie Ledezma having a blasting a shot from the top of the box that forced a diving stop by Brick Wall Blake.

Philly were forced to generate chances in the early part of the opening half with set pieces from Kai Wagner. The German left back forced some difficult clearances from corner kick chances but opted to go direct on goal when given the chance on a free kick just past midfield. Seeing the opposing keeper leaving the near post open, Wagner went full laces with a left-footed blast that was turned away with a fingertip save.

While Philly were still trying to get their offense in sync, NYC continued to operate quickly on their home ground with Pereira getting open on the right side of an attack before going for a far post cross. Seeing the run from wing back Andres Jasson, Blake stood tall and kept his eyes on the ball as the two collided with the Union keeper bearing the brunt of the collision.

The pressure paid off for the hosts in the 30th minute as they dialed up some pressure to force a Union turnover. With their leading playmaker Rodriguez on the ball, he pushed into the attack and dribbled through a pair of Union defenders. As he got into the box, he threaded a pass for Ledezma who tipped it to his right for Pereira just before Lowe could clear the danger. 1v1 against the keeper, Pereira made it 1-0 with a left-footed finish on the grass that got Citi Field going.

The Boys in Blue looked like they had tied things up six minutes later as Olivier Mbaizo cut inside and made a strong run. With the defense shifting, the Cameroonian pushed a pass to the feet of Gazdag to which the Hungarian back heeled it to Carranza for the one time finish. The celebrations were short lived as the assistant referee raised his flag but provided some confidence for the Union forward.

Just before the break, New York looked certain they’d double their lead with the ball back at the feet of Pereira in the 42nd minute. Racing up the end line and seeing an inch of space the forward fired a left-footed shot that beat Blake but crashed off the crossbar and kept the Union in the match.

After benefiting from the crossbar stop, the Union flipped the match on its head with a remarkable sequence from Carranza. With four minutes of stoppage time added to the opening half, center back Jack Elliott went direct with a long ball that went right to over a NYCFC defender and into the chest of the Argentinian forward. Seeing the ball dribble right into open space, Carranza took the opportunity and grabbed the equalizer in the first minute with a smooth right-footed finish inside the corner.

Two minutes later again it was King Julian as the Union executed a perfect counter attack against NYCFC. After the Cityzens failed to convert off a corner, Blake saw the space in front of him and quickly rolled the ball to Jose Martinez. The midfielder pushed the tempo and just before the midfield stripe volleyed a pass over the shoulder of Gazdag. Acting as a shield for the ball, Uhre took possession with the help of his No. 10 and cut to his right to draw the full attention of the rushing defense. The moves were only a decoy as he connected with Carranza inside the box who again smashed it home for a 2-1 lead.

Philly came out of the dressing room hungry for more with their top scorer nearly bagging a hat trick as Carranza smashed a shot off the post just 46 seconds after the whistle resumed play. With confidence overflowing, Jim Curtin’s side continued to eye Carranza. In the 48th minute Blake drove a ball forward for Uhre matched up 1 on 1 with a NYC defender. Sensing the space in behind, Carranza darted forward and took the flicked chance from Uhre and seemed destined for a third. Beating NYCFC’s Thiago Martins, the two collided with the referee quickly pointing to the penalty spot. After a lengthy look from the Video Assistant Referee for a potential Denial of a Goal Scoring Opportunity, the play was confirmed. Gazdag continued his perfect form from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way to make it 3-1.

Ahead on the road, the Boys in Blue remained aggressive but were communicative to remain compact to see out the result. NYC nearly got one back but a key block from Wagner in front of Blake kept it a 3-1 score line.

With the hosts pushing hard for a goal, the Union were eager to counter with Carranza nearly getting a hat trick in the 81st minute. Taking a pass down the right channel from Mbaizo, the forward ripped a shot from a difficult angle was somehow stopped by the keeper.

Philadelphia Union returns to Subaru Park to kick off a two-game home stand as they host Charlotte FC on Wednesday, May 31st. The match will serve as Philadelphia Union Foundation Night which will feature an online auction and the return of the fan-favorite car smash, both of which will benefit the organization as since it is an agent of change for the underserved in our area. Kick off between the two sides from Subaru Park is set for 7:30PM ET only on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

On Sale Now!

On Sale Now!

Every match matters! In 2023, you do not want to miss your favorite matchups as the Union take on the best MLS has to offer! When we score, make sure you are there to get Subaru Park shaking!

Stay in the Know
Stay in the Know


The Boys in Blue, delivered to your inbox. Tickets, deals, giveaways, and more.