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Missed chances, late golazo sink Philadelphia Union in first loss of season



Photo by Don Robson

The Philadelphia Union are unbeaten no more after a frustrating and rare loss at home to Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.

Playing after two weeks off, the Union showed their rust but also demonstrated their ability to come back in the second half when a Daniel Gazdag backheel off a Quinn Sullivan assist leveled the score in the 50th minute.

The equalizer came after an odd first half goal for the visitors when Andre Blake got his left hand on a line-drive shot from Andres Gomez that snuck into the goal on the backspin. The goal was assisted by the in form Chicho Arango who made it 15 goal contributions in 11 games to start the season.

Gazdag’s leveler in the 50th minute was a historic one, tying him with Sebastien Le Toux for the most goals scored in club history in all competitions.

Gazdag really should’ve surpassed Le Toux – who was a guest bartender for the opening of Union Yards before the game – when Kai Wagner found him on a cross in front of goal on a run between the RSL centerbacks in the 61st minute. Gazdag’s mishit on the service – along with a golden chance squandered by Mikael Uhre 10 minutes later – would prove costly in the long run when a free kick was cleared by Jakob Glesnes right to a waiting Alexandros Katranis outside the box in the 89th minute. Katranis one-touched the clearance down and ripped a goal off the hop to send another crowd of 19,000-plus home grumpy.

The meeting was the first between the two teams at Subaru Park in nearly six years and the loss was the first for the Union in a regular season match at home since March of last year. While the Union looked sloppy at times, they were also a bit hard done on a night when they outshot their opponent 15-9 and had a sizable 2.0 to .05 advantage in xG.

The Union will be back home to continue their match with Seattle Sounders FC at Subaru Park on Tuesday, April 30 (7:30 p.m. ET/ Apple TV).

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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