On a rain-soaked evening at Red Bull Arena when Hurricane Elsa dumped several gallons of water that delayed the start of the match, The Red Bulls were looking to add on another win as they wanted to keep on with a three-game unbeaten streak. While they did achieve that goal, sadly it wasn’t the three points they were looking for as they had a man advantage and ended their contest against the Philadelphia Union with a one-goal draw.
The opening goal came in the second half as the Red Bulls took advantage of a misplayed ball from the backline of the Union and buried their opportunity. Wikelman Carmona was chasing the ball as Jakob Glesnes caught up to it first and backed passes it to Matthew Freese, but put him into no man’s land that forced him to do something rash.
Freese who tried to retrieve the ball grabbed and interfered with Carmona by wrapping his arms around Caromna’s waist to block him, then let go to get the ball. As the referee allowed play to continue and saw the ball getting kicked out towards the near side touchline, that’s when the referee blew his whistle, pointed to the spot to award a penalty, and pulled out the red card from his back pocket to send off Freese in the 57th minute.
The man for the Red Bulls to take the penalty was Patryk Klimala as he was ready to earn his second goal of the season, subbing into the match to take over the goalkeeping duties was Joe Bendik who replaced Daniel Gazcag as the Union went down to ten men. Then KLimala converted the spot-kick going to his right at the hour mark to give the Red Bulls the one-goal lead.
But during this match, the Red Bulls couldn’t find that magical moment to earn a second goal and widen the lead. They had multiple moments to beat Bendik who came off the substitute’s bench cold and just getting into the match, but sadly they kept missing the target That’s when the Union took advantage of the situation in the 85th minute off of some bad luck.
John Tolkin was defending along the far side touchline when he got fouled or he overstretched himself and went down hard with an injury to his left leg. Union CAptain Alejandro Bedoya took advantage of this as he quickly threw the ball back into play, a cross came towards the middle of the Red Bulls Area, and substitute Sergio Santos found a way to deflect that ball off his head and off the inside of the near post and beat Carlos Coronel to equalize the score.
The Union took advantage of the situation as Tolkin who was injured inside the field of play was too close to the near side touchline, went down on the field and rolled himself in pain completely over the touchline, and put himself out of bounds. not allowing the referee to make a call to blow his whistle as Tolkin was not aware of his position on the pitch feeling the pain of the injury.
After seven minutes of second-half stoppage time, the referee blew his whistle to end the contest with a draw and the Red Bulls felt sad about dropping the two points. While there were some strong moments the Red Bulls felt they did well, and had a decent performance, it was the ones they couldn’t convert to add the lead that bothers them because they were a man up for the remaining half hour on the clock.
“The feeling right now is not positive, I think we expect a different result in the end. We expect a win and I think so many things in the right way today. We worked so hard as we synchronized and had the togetherness and the tactical awareness.” Said Gerhart Struber, “When we go in front of Patryk’s penalty goal, but not converting on the second goal was missing. This is a learning moment for our players and the learning curve today that we need the energy for the second goal and we missed it. This makes me disappointed and frustrated.
“We have many injured players and many talents on the field. I am not afraid of the future of the club, we have these players that do the job well, but on this day we weren’t sharp enough to get that second goal, and this was a bit disappointing., but we did a good thing today., but still the result was not good enough for us after we had the lead and when we were a man up.”
The Red Bulls will continue their homestand next weekend as they host Inter Miami at Red Bull Arena, as they face Phil Neville and the Higuain brothers in a big contest, to take on the club owned by David Beckham.