Orlando City SC scored off two set pieces in between goals from Marco Fabián and Kacper Przybylko and Philadelphia Union and Orlando City split the points at Talen Energy Stadium Sunday afternoon.
After severe weather pushed back their showdown from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, the Union and City both had something to prove when the match kicked off. For the Union, a Montreal loss and an Atlanta draw meant they could solidify their hold on the Eastern Conference. The Purple Lions, on the other hand, had playoff positioning in mind with three points pushing them over the red line in the east.
Marco Fabián’s return to the first eleven quickly pushed Philadelphia in front as the Mexican attacker nodded home the opener in the fourth minute. Orlando was set up in a deep 5-3-2 shape so Ale Bedoya nad Ray Gaddis combined to free up Fafa Picault on the right wing. The striker’s cross found Fabián in the box and a wonderful flicked finish put Philly on top.
Orlando nearly responded three minutes later when Dom Dwyer broke free up the left. With Jack Elliott trailing, Dwyer curled his run toward Andre Blake’s goal but couldn’t push a shot beyond the goalkeeper as he stood his ground in net.
Kacper Przybylko was next to produce a chance when he cut in from the right onto his left foot, but the big striker’s shot was at Brian Rowe’s feet and the Orlando City goalie made a simple save.
Brenden Aaronson’s movement was a constant thorn in City’s side and the homegrown midfielder broke quickly through the center following a turnover in the 14th minute. Haris Medunjanin spotted the run but his ball was a step beyond Aaronson.
The Union were settling for shots from distance until the 34th minute when Przybylko caught a bouncer in the box but saw Rowe push it over the bar.
Przybylko and Fabián broke out alone in Steaz stoppage time of the first half, but the striker was just offside when Fabián played him into the box.
At the start of the second half, Aaronson was again the ball-mover, slipping through three defenders and finding Picault down the left. A low cross bounced in front of Fabián and he couldn’t rifle it home.
Orlando moved to a 4-1-4-1 shape to push into a 4-3-3 moving forward. Dwyer nearly connected with a bicycle kick but the Union still controlled the match. That changed in the 67th minute, moments after Sergio Santos entered for Fabián. Nani, on as a substitute, curled a free kick onto Dwyer’s head and the Orlando striker tipped it beyond Blake and into the goal.
In the 75th minute, Santos turned his man up the right and punched a cross onto Fafa Picault’s head. The striker rose but couldn’t get under the ball and popped it just over the bar.
Orlando flipped the score in the 81st minute when Santiago Patino scored with his first touch of the match. After coming on for Dwyer, Patino tucked home a rebound after Andre Blake bobbled Chris Mueller’s flicked header off a corner kick.
In the 86th minute, Haris Medunjanin’s free kick from the top of the box was deflected out for a corner, and the Bosnian’s ensuing set piece was then headed over the bar by Ale Bedoya at the back post.
The match looked like a loss until substitutes Matt Real and Anthony Fontana combined to set up Kacper Przybylko for the game-tying goal in the 90th minute. Fontana flicked the ball to Real and he threaded a pass through to Przybylko who laced his shot into the far side netting.
Philly continued pressing forward and Jack Elliott nearly put one home late, but the match ended as a draw.
The Union are back in action next Saturday night when they travel to face Real Salt Lake at 10:00 p.m. ET on the LiveWell Network and streamed live on PhiladelphiaUnion.com.