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Champions League Game Thread: Philadelphia Union 1 Deportivo Saprissa 0 Final

The Union lead 1-0 in the second half




90 + 9’ Four cards handed out. Referee finally blows the whistle from the Monster’s Cave. Players are still arguing with the offical, and that will be all from a messy Round of Sixteen First Leg.

90 + 8’ Time still running, referees just writing down names.

90 + 6’ Time still not called, players have mostly dispersed.

90 + 4’ A late Blanco tackle earns him a yellow, Glesnes pushes him to the ground and a fight breaks out. Wagner is down on the ground. All referees trying to stop the tussle.

90 + 3’ A strong cross finds Andre Blake’s big hands. Both teams pushing hard in the last few minutes as Przybylko fouls, and is then subbed out for Quinn Sillivan who makes his debut.

90 + 1’ Four minutes added time for the second half.

88’ Another wild shot sails over the goal from distance for Saprissa. If they could keep it on goal, they would be seriously challenging Andre Blake.

86’ Mbaizo limps off the field with the Union’s medical trainer, as Saprissa makes two substitutions.

85’ Mbaizo is down on the far side of the field, medical units rush out. Doesn’t seem to be in serious pain, but isn’t making much movement.

83’ The Union can’t make anything of a cross from Wagner and Saprissa earns a strong counter attack. Union stop the counter and earn an attack of their own.

81’ Saprissa earns a corner off of a deflection, then earn another corner off of that after a battle in the box. A strong shot flies over the net and grants the Union a goal kick.

79’ Fontana goes down, some Union players look upset that no advantage was called, but Saprissa players seem to think there was no foul. Union can’t make anything of the free kick.

77’ Sloppy movement and not enough help up top ends another Union attack. Philly will have to maintain form if they want to hold on for the last 15.

75’ Matt Real earns a yellow card, and tempers flare as Union players rush towards the official.

73’ Monteiro goes down, but the referee calls advantage as Fontana dribbles downfield into a 1v5. Saprissa wins the ball to start their attack from their defensive third.

71’ Kai Wagner saves the Union from a goal with a header on the line, and Saprissa is forced to reset from midfield.

70’ Twenty minutes left, the Union and Saprissa seems to be playing different games. Saprissa’s is fast as they look to make up a goal, while Philly wants to control play and slow the pace of the game down.

68’ Mbaizo fouls in the Union defending third, Saprissa’s Waston misses the wide open header off the kick.

66’ Montiero gets around a defender, but gets called for the foul, Saprissa kick halfway through their own half.

64’ The first substitution of the match comes as Matt Real enters for Leon Flach. Real is usually a defender, but seems to be playing further up instead of reinforcing the backline.

63’ Przybylko gets taken down and grabs his ankle, gets up quickly.

62’ A Wagner cross finds the shin of Fontana, and rebounds out of bounds for a goal kick.

61’ Glesnes with a weak pass back to Blake that nearly got stolen, but Blake clears it away.

58’ A strong Mbaizo cross near the goal gets cleared out for a Union corner. Wagner’s ends in a counter attack for Saprissa.

56’ Union move the ball around the box to earn what looks like a corner, but a foul call against Philly sends the ball the other way.

54’ Saprissa moves the ball around the box, and earns themselves a corner, which goes out for a Union goal kick.

52’ A strong Saprissa attack is stopped with a cross that falls just too close to Blake, as he scoops it up to send to his attack.

47’ A long distance shot from Saprissa hops into the arms of Blake for his first save of the game.

46’ A pass from Fontana fins Przybylko on a good attack, but an offsides call sends the ball the other way.

46’ The second half is off, as the Union look to hold on to their 0-1 lead in Costa Rica.

45 + 2’ The whistle is blown for the end of the first half. Union look like the stronger team, but both teams are looking a little sloppy. Union will have to carry their momentum through halftime.

45 +2’ Saprissa’s Blanco and Union’s Martinez exchange some words, and Montiero rushes in to break up the conversation.

45 + 1’ Union are looking to press late in the half, forcing Saprissa to make some strong defensive plays. Saprissa responds with a counter which ends in a Union throw in.

45’ Two minutes added onto the first half of play.

41’ Flach is back up and moving, meanwhile the Union draw a foul from a strong Saprissa tackle on the other end of the Union’s half.

40’ Leon Flach is down without contact. He’s grabbing his quad and medical staff has entered the field.

36’ Fontana makes a move in the box to earn a corner kick, which is cleared for a counter attack. Saprissa attack stopped at midfield.

35’ Saprissa are almost able to get a cross to end as a success, but the pass flies just out of reach of the attacker for a goal kick.

34’ The first goal of 2021 comes from Kacper Przybylko! Fontana plays it to Mbaizo, who plays a perfect cross to Przybylko, who walks into the header for the lead.

32’ Bedoya tries chasing the ball down the sideline but it rolls out for a Saprissa goal kick. Bedoya has been playing a lot on the wing and has seen nearly all of his touches on the attack.

32’ Martinez draws a foul off a trip, seems to be in momentary pain but gets back up.

30’ Saprissa attack looks for a cross, a tip by Wagner sends it into the waiting arms of Blake.

28’ Offsides call stops a Saprissa attack in the Union box, Andre Blake sends the ball the other way.

26’ Poor call from the referee earns Saprissa a free kick. After some ball movement, it rolls out for an Andre Blake goal kick.

25’ A Flach pass and Wagner cross attempt gets tangled up near the goal. Przybylko kicks it out for a Saprissa corner.

21’ Montiero stops a quick counter attack. Union counter ends in a poorly whiffed Montiero shot.

20’ Przybylko stumbles and and loses a potential attack near the box as Saprissa sends the ball the other way.

19’ A poor header from Saprissa earns the Union a goal kick off the corner.

18’ Saprissa player goes down in a quick attack and looks for a card, only earns a foul that results in a corner.

17’ Martinez draws a foul after being physical all match, Union ball near center field.

16’ Saprissa looks for a counter-attack, but Kai Wagner wins his challenge to slow them up.

14’ Union play aggressive defense to win a steal, the resulting cross towards the box is called offsides of Przybylko.

12’ Weak pass from Fontana gets stolen near the 18, ending a solid prospective shot by Przybylko.

10’ Saprissa looks to drive up field, but ball rolls out near the corner flag for a Union throw.

6’ Saprissa with a foul around 30 yards out, kick into the penalty area gets sent back out.

4’ Bedoya attempts a cross into the box, it goes out for a Union corner. Fontana called offsides on resulting cross.

3’ Another early Union attack by Flach, Union are driving early and not giving Saprissa much room.

2’ Union try an early attack with a cross from Flach, it goes out for a throw-in. Following play results in a Saprissa goal kick.

1’ Ball rolls out for the first time of the match, as Saprissa earns an early goal kick

1’ And the Union are back! The 2021 season has begun with first tap in Costa Rica.

Anthony Fontana starts with Kacper Przybylko up top. Rookies Quinn Sullivan, Nathan Harriel and Jack McGlynn on the bench.

Former Bethlehem Steel defender Walter Cortes is on the bench for Saprissa.

The day has finally arrived.

The Philadelphia Union will make their debut in the Concacaf Champions League in San Jose, Costa Rica.

They take on a Deportivo Saprissa team with a wealth of experience in the competition. In fact, this will be the 10th time Saprissa is in the competition in its current format dating back to 2008. Their W-D-L record against MLS teams is 6-3-5.

John Strong and Stu Holden will be on the call for the FS1 broadcast.

How to Watch

Where: Estadio Ricardo Saprissa; San Juan de Tibás, Costa Rica
When: Wednesday April 7, 2021, 6:06 p.m. ET Kickoff
Streaming: FOX Sports App / Concacaf App


Referee: Ismael Cornejo 
Assistant Referee 1: David Moran
Assistant Referee 2: Geovany Garcia 
Fourth Official: Ivan Barton

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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