RECAP: Back in first for Union after 3-2 win

First place belongs to Philadelphia after homegrown defender Auston Trusty blasted home a late gamewinner from close range to grant his side three points. 

Minnesota United was undefeated at home coming into Sunday’s match and they showed why with an aggressive press that fed off the crowd. Unless the Union worked the ball quickly out of the back, they ran into Loons’ traps, with Kacper Przybylko the most reliable outlet.

Philly’s pressing wasn’t cutting off Minnesota’s buildups, and in the sixth minute, Angelo Rodriguez’s strong hold-up play opened the door for a chance for the home side. After the ball was worked wide to Darwin Quintero Jr, his deflected shot fell to Angelo and Ray Gaddis had to slide in to prevent a goal.

The 13th minute produced an array of big opportunities for the Loons, but Andre Blake and Jack Elliott combined to keep the score even. First Blake stoned Angelo when the big striker turned Jack Elliott. The ball popped out in front and Quintero slashed it toward net, only to see Blake rise to the challenge once more. Angelo saw the bounce go his way but his shot was chested away by an alert and well-positioned Elliott.

The two sides continued to trade blows and the Union sent ripples of anxiety throughout Allianz Field when Brenden Aaronson set Przybylko free down the right and the striker picked out Sergio Santos through the center. The frontman missed his touch, though, and Minnesota was off let off the hook. The Loons responded when Darwin sent Finlay through up the right. He cut Trusty and the ball fell to Angelo, with Blake once again required to come up big.

Philly took the lead in the 18th minute when Monteiro finished a penalty kick drawn by Santos. Santos stepped in front of Brent Kallman and the defender kicked his leg out.

The Brazilian nearly went box to box moments later but pulled his shot around the far post. That miss proved costly as Hassani Dotson connected from outside the box to even the scoreline. Bedoya’s clearing header fell to the fullback and he laced a gorgeous finish in off the near post.

Both teams worked through their target men and created great deadball looks. First Jan Gregus tried to go under the Union’s wall from the top of the box, then Haris Medunjanin stepped up to the ball in the left channel just above the box.

Medunjanin pulled a quick free kick out of his bag of tricks and beat Vito Mannone near post.

To open the second half, Aaronson cut inside and looked to curl the ball into the top corner but put too much on the shot.

Quintero sought to pull his team even in the 50th minute when he ran onto a ball in the box that Angelo let slide. The Colombian’s first time shot spun wide of the far post, however, and the Union hung on to their lead.

Once again, a huge block was required to keep the Union ahead, and this time Kai Wagner was the one sliding in front to push the chance clear.

Minnesota was knocking on the door, and substitute Kevin Molino eventually made things even by slicing in a far post finish when the ball bounced around the box after a corner kick.

The home side kept pouring on pressure, but Auston Trusty’s first goal of 2019 proved to be the late difference.

Ilsinho came on as a substitute and squared up his defender on the left. He lifted a cross toward Przybylko but missed him by inches. Trusty crashed the back post and his first touch dropped at his feet. The defender blasted a finish into the top corner and commenced celebrating.

The Union held on for the win, handing the Loons their first ever loss at Allianz Field.

Philadelphia is back in first place and welcomes New York Red Bulls to Talen Energy Stadium on June 8 for the final match before MLS takes a break for the 2019 Gold Cup.

Tickets to the Union vs Red Bulls match can be found here.

And tickets to the Gold Cup match at Lincoln Financial Field can be found here.

 

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