A pair of second half goals saw Philadelphia Union extend its unbeaten streak to six games as the club battled CF Montreal to a 2-2 draw in Canada.

Playing North of the Border for the first time since 2019, the Union were welcomed to Stade Saputo by wet and windy conditions that played into the hosts’ favor early. Despite facing three Montreal corner kicks in just the first three minutes, Jack Elliott anchored the backline to prevent Montreal from getting anything on target.

Wilfred Nancy’s side deployed their preferred 3-4-3 setup but introduced a false nine atop the formation. The hosts turned to interchanging runs from midfielders Đorđe Mihailović and Matko Miljevic to stress the backline into 1v1s but Philly’s unit stayed connected.

The chess match between Jim Curtin and Nancy saw neither side able to get a footing in the middle of the pitch as the pressing forced both sides wide as they sought quick outlets. Montreal turned to its wingbacks in hopes that either Kai Wagner or Olivier Mbaizo would make a mistake but the duo won their first half battles to cut out long switches. Those wins immediately put the Union into the attack with Wagner nearly opening the scoring with a cross that skipped off the crossbar 14 minutes in.

With set pieces racking up for Montreal, the Canadian side broke through in the 33rd minute with their two playmakers combining for the opening goal. Montreal turned to a short corner play that put Mihailović with the ball near the corner play. With the defense collapsing, he picked out Miljevic near the edge of the box to make it 1-0.

Having sussed out the home side’s plan, Curtin and the Union entered half two in a 4-2-3-1 shape that saw Homegrowns Paxten Aaronson and Quinn Sullivan taking up wider roles in the midfield.

Although Montreal kept Philly from getting off the shot they needed, the Union clearly felt more confident. Smart combination play on the right gave Bedoya a moment to look up on the edge of the box, but with Przybylko opening a central lane and Bedoya playing the ball into that lane, nobody was available to get on the end of the pass.

Daniel Gazdag stepped on for Sullivan and pushed Flach out to the left wing, with Monteiro dropping into a holding role alongside Bedoya.

Holding their form for 90 minutes has been an issue for the Quebecois side all season and as the Union began to control the match, the elements switched allegiances and started to favor the visitors. As Monteiro stood over a long, central free kick, Montreal set a high defensive line above the top of the 18-yard box. Philly’s movement and Monteiro’s dangerous, head-height ball combined to fool James Pantemis and the ball squirted through the defense, bonked the far post and the goalkeeper’s foot, and skipped off the wet grass into the net. It was ruled an own goal, but Jakob Glesnes’ run and Monteiro’s ball made huge contributions.

Montreal still found opportunities on the counter when their wingbacks became involved. In the 67th minute, Brault-Guillard ran onto a ball on the right side of the box and aimed a low cross behind the back line. Elliott unfurled a long leg to block the ball but deflected it into the center of the goal. With athleticism Andre Blake will admire, Matt Freese reversed direction and wrapped his hands around the slippery ball to keep it out of the net.

Freese’s acrobatics – he later showed impressed bounce to push a hard shot over the bar – put the Union in position to take home all three points, and once again they found joy from a set piece.

This time it was Kai Wagner lining up over a tight-angled free kick on the right side of the box. Philly’s big men crowded the lane to goal and their left back did the rest, guiding a hard, low shot through bodies and into the far post.

From that point on, the Union were focused on closing out the match with safe, smart soccer. Jesus Bueno stepped into midfield and put stop signs throughout the center of the park.

In the final moments, a looping cross from the left was crashed into the net by Sunusi Ibrahim. Climbing over Wagner, Sunusi plowed the ball into the far corner and left Freese no chance.

Philadelphia Union wraps up its current three-game October road trip with a midweek battle against Minnesota United FC. The match up against the Western Conference contender is set to kick off at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 20th with PHL17 and PhiladelphiaUnion.com bringing you the action live.