Philadelphia Union II hosted Huntsville City FC on Sunday afternoon for a must-win matchup that propelled them back into playoff contention. The team left Subaru Park with a 2-1 win, boosting them to 7th place in the Eastern Conference with one regular season match remaining.
The game was a scoreless one for the majority of the first half. Neither team found success on their attacking ends until Union II opened scoring moments before halftime. In the 45th minute, midfielder Jeremy Rafanello earned a corner, sending it into the box where 15-year-old defender Neil Pierre was in position in front of the net. Pierre met the ball with his head, knocking it past Huntsville City’s keeper Ben Martino.
The second half was a chippy one – in the 61st minute, CJ Olney was shown a red card, sending him off the field and into the locker room. Philadelphia didn’t play down for long, though. Less than 10 minutes later, Huntsville City’s Josh Drack was handed his second yellow of the day, resulting in a red for the away side.
Both team’s battled with just 10 players each on the field, but Philadelphia Union emerged on top. In the 73rd minute, midfielder Quinn Sullivan found forward Stefan Stojanovic in the box for a tap-in past Martino, extending the team’s lead to 2-0.
The team maintained a clean sheet until the final moments of the match, when Huntsville City earned a penalty kick after a Union foul. In the 90+4th minute, Azaad Liadi gave the Alabama group their lone goal of the day.
Back in playoff contention, Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc and his team will shift their focus ahead to next Sunday’s matinee against New York Red Bulls II.