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Union draws Atlas FC 2-2, advances 3-2 on aggregate in Concacaf Champions League



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The Philadelphia Union are through to the Concacaf Champions League semifinal, where they will get a rematch of last year’s MLS Cup final in a two-leg series.

The Union advanced with a 2-2 draw with Atlas FC in Guadalajara, Mexico on Wednesday night, giving them 3-2 win on aggregate. Julian Carranza, Julian Quiñones, and Julio Furch were the goal-scorers on the night in an instant classic in Philadelphia Union history.

Philadelphia started the game with good chances, but it was Atlas that struck first. Quiñones, Atlas’ star forward, made a late run into the Union’s box, and with one clean swipe, sent his shot past Andre Blake toward the right post.

Just under 20 minutes later, Carranza changed the game. A soaring pass from Jack McGlynn made its way to the back post, where Carranza settled the ball and sent it past ‘keeper Jose Hernández in the 28th minute. That goal not only gave the Union the aggregate lead, but it also gave Philly the away-goal tiebreaker. Atlas would have to score twice more to win the game; anything less would be a loss.

Atlas had a chance to take the lead once again, as Quiñones found himself taking off down the field with just Blake to beat. However, Blake demonstrated why he’s one of the best ‘keepers in MLS and made a huge save to preserve the lead.

Philadelphia had plenty of chances to score, but yet again, it was Atlas that struck. A long ball down the right side of the pitch allowed Ozziel Herrera to work his way into the box. Herrera laid the ball off for Furch, who tapped the ball past Blake with ease to take the lead in the match.

Kai Wagner’s return from injury didn’t go as well as expected and the star left back was replaced at halftime by Nathan Harriel.

Curtin went to his bench again with 30 minutes left in the match, bringing in Leon Flach to replace McGlynn. Matt Real was brought on for Olivier Mbaizo and slid Harriel over tot he right in the 71st minute as Mbaizo flirted throughout the match with ejection and subsequent suspension.

Eight minutes later, Carranza sealed the match for Philadelphia. Mikael Uhre made a deep run into the attacking third with Carranza ahead of him. Uhre laid the ball off to the Argentine, and Carranza finished with class. As with his first goal, Carranza’s strike was called for offsides. However, after a brief video review, it was determined to be legal, and the Union took a 3-2 aggregate lead on the road.

Bad turned to worse for Atlas, as Aldo Rocha was sent off for two yellow cards in the 87th minute. While the hosts played with 10 men, referee Iván Cisneros continued to dish out cautions. And with the man advantage and the aggregate lead, Philadelphia closed out the match with ease.

The 2-2 draw moved the Union onto the semifinals of the Champions League for a rematch of the 2022 MLS Cup Final against LAFC.

While Quiñones may have been the best player on the pitch on Wednesday night, Carranza’s brace secured the win for Philadelphia. The Argentine has had a rough start to the season, but none of that mattered in Guadalajara as he earned the title of man of the match.

The Union returns to MLS action at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 15 as they hit the road to take on Chicago Fire FC.


Joe is a junior at Penn State studying journalism and sports studies, among other things. He's covered the Union since 2017 and has written for Brotherly Game / Philadelphia Soccer Now since 2019. He seeks to answer life's greatest questions, such as, "How did I get here?" and "Where is that large automobile?" You can find Joe on Twitter (iamjoelister) or via email (

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