Match Recap

Recap | Union conclude Concacaf Champions Cup journey at CF Pachuca


Philadelphia Union saw its run in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup conclude on Tuesday night as they fell to CF Pachuca.

Facing the champions from Liga MX, Head Coach Jim Curtin rolled with the 4-3-2-1 line up against Pachuca once again, reprising the same formation he used out to start for leg one at home. This time, however, it was a near full-strength group with Damion Lowe and Jack Elliot available after missing the first match against Pachuca due card accumulation. Lowe rejoined the lineup, reclaiming his spot after homegrown Nathan Harriel filled in at center back last match.

In front of a boisterous crowd at Estadio Hidalgo Stadium in Mexico, the Union trotted out their strongest group knowing that a win or scoring draw would be enough to see them through to the Quarterfinals for the third time in four years.

Pachuca got a favorable start on their home turf when Kai Wagner made contact with Emilio Rodriguez inside the box five minutes after the opening whistle. A check from the Video Assistant Referee saw the hosts awarded a penalty kick which talisman Salamon Rondon converted with a hard shot just beyond Andre Blake’s diving attempt.

The home team was very close to doubling their lead just before the 20 minute mark, when Oussama Idrissi sent a pinpoint pass to Rondon directly in front of the net. Pachuca’s 34-year-old Venezuelan striker collected the pass, settled, and placed a shot nearly out of Blake’s reach from about 10 yards out, but the Union’s Jamaican net protector quickly reminded viewers why he’s been named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year on three occasions. Getting just enough of his hand on the ball, he sent it out of play, diverting it’s path past the post.

Homegrown Jack McGlynn tried to take advantage of the altitude in the final minutes of the first half, taking a shot of the match from distance. The homegrown nearly capitalized on the extra lift and unpredictable path a shot from higher altitude is said to take, sending the ball toward the top right corner, but Moreno got a hand on it.

CCC R16 Leg Two: Philadelphia Union at CF Pachuca

Philly kept battling for a first-half equalizer with a quick chance created by Captain Alejandro Bedoya. The Union midfielder found space on the right side and whipped in a cross to Daniel Gazdag at the far post for a smashing header but the close range effort in stoppage time again found Moreno’s gloves.

Pachuca battled until the final moment of the first half, first with Gonzalez taking an aggressive drive down the sideline, battling Quinn Sullivan to get toward the net until the ball was cleared away by Jakob Glesnes. Moments later, Pachuca found the ball in scoring territory again, and when Union defenders crashed in to block Rondon, he tapped it toward M.E. Rodriguez Macías who powered it toward the back of the net for a goal. Pachuca’s celebratory sparklers ignited just before the goal was recalled – the play was called offsides, and the score reverted to 1-0.

Pachuca maintained their fervor though, quickly reclaiming possession in stoppage time again for another goal. Again it was Rondon on the ball as he combined with Erick Sanchez for a one-two combo inside the box before delivering a hard blast into the back of the net just before the halftime whistle.

Down two goals to start the half, Curtin made an aggressive substitution, replacing Martinez for the team’s leading goal scorer in Julian Carranza. With the next goal critical however the Union were put on the ropes early with an early concession which was called offside in the 48th minute. It proved to be a warning as Pachuca’s renowned attack in front of the home fans showed its strength with a trio of goals in 10 minutes. The first came in the 53rd minute as Rondon completed his hat trick with a one-timer inside the six after Rodriguez got around the Union defense to set up the centering cross. Four minutes later Nelson Alexander Deossa Suárez found the back of the net with a long range blast which was answered with another long range golazo Oussama Idrissi to make it 5-0.

Jim Curtin turned to youth in the second half with Markus Anderson and Jesus Bueno gaining valuable experience in the hostile environment. After the fifth goal was allowed defensive substitutions entered with Jack Elliott and Olivier Mbaizo brought on to comprise a 5-man defensive line. Pachuca turned to its own youth late in the match with the result assured and the eager energy saw Los Tuzos score a sixth from 21-year-old Alan Bautista.Alan Bautista

Philadelphia Union look to rebound when they turn their full attention to the league schedule on Saturday night with a first-ever matchup against Austin FC. Fans can catch the action free this weekend on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV with the contest kicking off at 8:30PM ET.

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Every match matters! In 2024, 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!

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