Two late goals by CF Montreal in extra time were enough to stun the Union on the road. In a very back and forth game, the Union seemed to be leaving Stade Olympique with at least a point, but ended up with nothing.
CF Montreal: Jonathan Sirois, Joel Waterman, Rudy Camacho, Kamal Miller (Robert Thorkelsson), Mathieu Choiniere, Victor Wanyama, Rida Zouhir (Sunusi Ibrahim), Lassi Lappalainen (Zachary Brault-Guillard), Nathan Saliba (Sean Rea), Mason Toye (Nnamdi Chinoso Offor), Romell Quioto
Philadelphia Union: Joe Bendik, Kai Wagner, Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Olivier Mbaizo, Jose Martinez, Leon Flach, Alejandro Bedoya (Damion Lowe), Daniel Gazdag (Andres Perea), Mikael Uhre (Chris Donovan), Julian Carranza
Goal Scoring Summary:
3' Romell Quioto (penalty)
46' Mikael Uhre
60' Mikael Uhre
90' Nnamdi Chinoso Offor
90+8' Romell Quioto
First Half Recap:
Right from the get-go, it was all Montreal. An opening chance in the first two minutes saw a cross from Lassi Lappalainen end up at the feet of an on-rushing Choiniere, whose shot struck the arm of Jakob Glesnes. Montreal were awarded a penalty as Glesnes received a yellow card. Romell Quioto stepped up and buried it in the top left corner. Around the tenth minute, Mason Toye had an acrobatic attempt that luckily sailed over the bar.
Quioto had two more golden chances in the first thirty minutes of play. One of them, in the eleventh minute, saw Quioto body his way past Elliott, but skew a shot well wide of Joe Bendik. The other chance, around the twenty-sixth minute, should have yielded in a Montreal goal, as Quioto beat Bendik to a lofted through-ball, but Glesnes was able to recover and send it out for a Montreal corner.
Right before the break, the Union finally started to get into their groove. Using his strength, Julian Carranza, was able to brush off Joel Waterman, but Sirois parried the ball out for a corner. Wagner delivered a teasing ball in from the corner that made its way to the back post where Mikael Uhre somehow did not score past the diving Sirois. Montreal had the lead 1-0 after 45'.
Second Half Recap:
Just like Montreal in the first half, the Union came out flying in the second half. Early pressing inside Montreal's half, led to the Union winning the ball. Flach played it to Gazdag who then found Uhre who buried it in the back of the net. A very soft foul saw Carranza go into the referee's book in the 58th minute. After a spell in the Union's half, Martinez stole the ball back and played in to Gazdag, who sent it over the top for Uhre. Uhre slotted it home for his second of the night and the Union's first lead of the game.
An unnecessary challenge by Carranza in the 69th minute saw the Argentine handed a red card. The Union looked promising in the second half and seemed to be running away with the game until they were reduced to ten men. This would result in a huge momentum shift as Montreal coach, Hernan Losada, decided to make a quadruple change in the 80th minute. Montreal started to dominate possession.
In the 90th minute, Offor bundled home a ball of the bar to see Montreal tie up the game. Shouts of offside from the Union bench persuaded referee Nima Saghafi to take a look at VAR. He returned indicating no goal. Soon after, however, he went back to VAR, due to Montreal captain, Wanyama's, suggestion after talking to the fourth official. Saghafi overrules his decision, and awards Montreal with the leveler. In late stoppage time, Quioto headed home a cross, after some lackluster defending from Mbaizo, giving Montreal their first three points of the season.
Kai Wagner was not great offensively. It is as simple as that. Since joining the Union a few years back, he has been an instrumental part of the Union's success and was crucial to the team last year. In the game, he could barely get the ball in the opposition's half without being immediately pressed by Lappalainen. His service off of set pieces was not great either as he undershot most of his deliveries.
Gazdag was basically irrelevant. Although he had two assists, he struggled to find the ball. While Gazdag is a huge asset in this team, he is not an ideal playmaker in this league like Lucas Zelarayan or Carles Gil.
Mikael Uhre was great. Scoring two goals and helping the team offensively and defensively, Uhre was everywhere and was outstanding in his hold up play. It was nice to see him score his first two of the season.
We need Andre Blake back soon. Joe Bendik was not great tonight as he made one save. Having only played four games in four years, the MLS veteran is a trusted backup, but can not be depended upon in key moments. It is the risk of trading Matt Freese to NYCFC. We do have rookie, Holden Trent, on the roster, so it will be interesting to see the goalkeeping situation for the busy schedule that awaits.
My Player Ratings:
Joe Bendik: 2
Kai Wagner: 6
Jack Elliott: 5
Jakob Glesnes: 7
Olivier Mbaizo: 6
Jose Martinez: 8
Leon Flach: 5
Alejandro Bedoya: 7
Daniel Gazdag: 6
Mikael Uhre: 9
Julian Carranza: 1
The Philadelphia Union return home to Subaru Park on Saturday, March 25, to take on Orlando City at 7:30 PM ET.
(Photo courtesy of sportsnet.ca)