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Union fight back from two-goal deficit to earn a point in Atlanta and stay unbeaten



Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Union

Still undefeated! Despite going down and looking out on the road against Atlanta, the Philadelphia Union managed to scratch and claw their way back into the contest, very nearly stealing all three points in their 2-2 draw with Atlanta United.

After a competitive first half by both sides, the hosts struck first in the 55th minute. Atlanta’s main man Thiago Almada played in a fantastic cross that found the head of forward Daniel Rios in the box. Union keeper Oliver Semmle, who came on for an injured Andre Blake at the end of the first half, had no chance of stopping the rocket header.

Atlanta would pounce just minutes later with a second goal courtesy of Caleb Wiley in the 63rd minute. Nobody really expected Caleb Wiley to pull the trigger from so far out, but he managed to score from long distance. Maybe Semmle could have done better on the near-side shot, but nevertheless it was 2-0 Atlanta.

At this point, you’d be at no fault for assuming that this was the direction of this contest. Playing in a hostile Atlanta environment against a fun Atlanta United squad with all of the moment, this looked like Philadelphia’s first loss of the season. Somehow, though, Jim Curtin’s lads always manage to find a way.

Mikael Uhre sliced the Atlanta lead in half with a goal in the 73rd minute. Taking advantage of an Atlanta mistake, Uhre was sent through on goal for a one-on-0ne with Brad Guzan. Uhre produced a finish that we all know he can do, rifling a shot past Guzan to make it 2-1.

With barely any time to celebrate, Philadelphia brought everything level just moments later in the 77th. A throw-in deep in the Atlanta box was parried away by a defender, falling to Kai Wagner on the edge of the box. Wagner buried a volley, with his right foot no less. 2-2. New game.

Philadelphia arguably should have taken the lead in the 79th minute, courtesy of what would’ve been a second goal from substitute Mikael Uhre. The strike off a ball from Quinn Sullivan was waived off and confirmed by a quick VAR check. The broadcast angle sure looked like he was onside, but who knows, Maybe the view VAR saw was more clear. If only there was some transparency. You can make your own decision with the broadcast footage below.

Atlanta very nearly spoiled the party for Philadelphia in the 87th minute, Saba Lobjanidze with smacking a shot off the woodwork. He had everyone beat except the woodwork. Just like that it ended 2-2. Philadelphia remains the sole undefeated team in the MLS heading into the bye week.

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