Philadelphia Union battled back from a second-half deficit to conclude a road-trip filled July with a 1-1 draw at Inter Miami CF on Sunday evening. Homegrown Quinn Sullivan picked up his first MLS assist, picking out Kacper Przybylko in the 85th minute for the equalizer.
Coming off a midweek rout, Inter Miami CF went with an ultra-conservative approach to try to slow down the Union. Philly was unable to get playmakers Daniel Gazdag and Jamiro Monteiro into a groove with Kai Wagner and Olivier Mbaizo leading the first half in touches.
Gazdag found space in the third minute before the hosts settled into their defensive block, aiming a shot from 20 yards out that Nick Marsman collected. Moments later, Kacper Przybylko collected a quick pass from Alejandro Bedoya and rifled a shot wide of the goal.
The 23rd minute showed how dangerous midfield maestro Jamiro Monteiro could be as he floated a pin-point volley over the Miami defense that captain Alejandro Bedoya couldn’t fully power on target.
Homegrown Matt Freese stood tall against the dangerous Higuain brothers, turning away shots from Gonzalo in the 16th and 24th minutes.
In the early exchanges of the second half, Philly’s focus was on quick transitions after turnovers. Jakob Glesnes nearly picked out Gazdag in the 48th behind enemy lines but a heavy first touch took the new signing out of play.
Phil Neville introduced Brek Shea to pin back the increasingly influential Mbaizo. Philly responded by continuing to push in attacking transitions. In the 55th, Martinez found Gazdag on the left and Miami was left scrambling to cut out Mbaizo’s low cross.
The Union were the better side but their stars could not quite make magic in the final third. Meanwhile, Miami’s shape lagged and Philly’s attacking belief grew.
In the 61st, Martinez flew up the right wing but left his ball in too close to Nick Marsman.
Miami’s breakthrough came through Robbie Robertson. Galloping up the left channel, he corralled Gonzalo Higuain’s throughball and punched his shot past Freese.
Federico Higuain left the match and the home side sat back to ride out the final 20 minutes of play.
Curtin continued to show trust in his bench, bringing Jack McGlynn, Ilsinho, and Quinn Sullivan on. The Brazilian’s casual brilliance on the ball dimmed Miami’s confidence and when the dropped deeper Sullivan punished them. Scampering up the left, he drilled the ball across goal and into Przybylko’s feet. The reliable finisher prodded the ball over the goal line a Leandro González Pírez dove to clear but arrived too late.
Sullivan was a spark in the left channel and Philly found numerical advantages up that side over and over. Just before extra time began, Gazdag met a cross from the left with a downward header that could not wrongfoot Marsman.
Philly heads home to prepare for its busiest month of the season that will feature six league matches and the road leg of the Union’s semifinal clash against Club America in the Concacaf Champions League. August kicks off at Subaru Park with the Union hosting Chicago Fire FC on Sunday, August 1st. Tickets are going fast so be sure to click here to reserve your seat for the 6 p.m. ET kick.