|photo by Matt Kremkau
by Garry Redman
HARRISON, NJ - With both teams dealing with schedule congestion with U.S. Open Cup matches later in the week, one goal from a penalty kick by Daniel Gazdag was all Philadelphia needed to beat the Red Bulls 1-0.
The Red Bulls returned home after earning only one point on the road. They faced a determined Philadelphia Union team eager to surpass their I-95 rivals. Gerhard Struber and his team focused on making a long and arduous climb back into the playoff picture while gaining some respectability among the supporters.
The first half started with the usual issues in the midfield. Disconnected passes, and touches that went nowhere in particular but in the seats, and not being clinical in the final third, then the Red Bulls began to make some headway on the attack but was negated by an apparent handball, but despite the arguments made by the team, nothing was given by the official, and play continued to the chagrin of the Red Bulls.
In the 32nd minute, it happened. Dylan Neals fouled Julian Carranza in the box, and while the foul itself was dubious, contact was indeed made. After a check with VAR, the call stood. Daniel Gazdag then converted the penalty shortly afterward to put his team up by one goal.
As the half ended, the story was basically the same, a lot of effort but nothing to show for it other than one shot on goal, and being on the losing side of the scoreboard once again, bringing nothing but frustration to the team and supporters alike.
Philadelphia earned a dangerous corner kick in the 57th minute, but it was safely tapped away by Coronel, keeping his team in the match.
Red Bulls finally had a chance to make something happen in the 73rd minute as Cameron Harper delivered a terrific cross in front of the net, temporarily drawing Union keeper Andre Blake out of position. Burke was at the back post but headed the ball away from the net.
For the last few matches, this team has shown its resiliency, continuing to fight and claw its way back into matches. Tonight would not be the case as the final whistle was blown, ending the match and cementing the fourth loss of the season for Gerhard Struber's men.
As far as losses at home go, this one would leave a bitter taste in the collective mouths of the team and their beleaguered supporters. Union extends their dominance as the streak now goes to ten matches unbeaten. The good news for the evening, there will be very little time to commiserate about this loss as they must get ready to deal with D.C. United in three days.
31' - Philadelphia Union - Daniel Gazdag, Unassisted
25' - New York Red Bulls - Andres Reyes - Yellow Card
36' - Philadelphia Union - Leon Floch - Yellow Card
45' - Philadelphia Union - Quinn Sullivan - Yellow Card
68' - New York Red Bulls - Cory Burke - Yellow Card