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Blown lead, Jack Elliott red card keep Union’s home winless streak alive against Montreal

CHESTER – Through titanic shifts back and forth this season, one thing has remained certain for the Philadelphia Union: They’re not going to do things the easy way.

So it was Saturday night, trailing less than 60 seconds in, surging to lead and ultimately disappointing the Subaru Park fans yet again.

Samuel Piette’s goal in the 66th minute gave CF Montreal a 2-2 draw, extending to six the Union’s winless streak in Chester. That 0-2-4 run is the second-worst in franchise history, only a seven-game run from 2014 exceeding it. And it contrasts sharply with the Union being the lone remaining unbeaten on the road in MLS and previously having made Subaru Park a fortress.

Goals by Daniel Gazdag from the penalty spot and Mikael Uhre two minutes seemed to put the Union on track to end their winless ways, particularly after Montreal was reduced to 10 men with Ariel Lassiter’s red card early in the first half. But a questionable red card to Jack Elliott in the 63rd immediately preceded Piette’s goal and sucked any momentum out of the building.

The mood on the hour mark was a departure from another calamitous start, the Union comically opened up just 52 seconds in. An elemental run up the right win by Ruan squared to Dominic Yankov between the lines of a team that looked uncomfortable in the 3-5-2 formation. He found Sunusi Ibrahim at the top of the box to side-foot a shot into the corner of the net, adding to the Union’s league-leading concessions from outside the box this season.

It precipitated a first half of ineffectual possession by the Union, which has become its stock and trade, particularly without Julian Carranza in the lineup again. They had the ball in the back of the net when Gazdag backheeled home a Jack McGlynn ball, but he was clearly offside.

It took more Montreal mistakes to open the game up for the Union. The first was in the 45th, when Lassiter got his elbow into the chops of Jose Martinez. Originally a yellow card on the field, referee Ted Unkel went to the monitor and upgraded it to red.

The Union finally capitalized in the 56th, thanks to another assist from the visitor. Uhre stung a shot at Sebastian Breza. The goalie bobbled it just enough that Gazdag could charge in and get his foot to it. When Breza clamped down on the ball, he got only the midfielder’s foot, a clear penalty, after Gazdag had been shown a yellow card for simulation late in the first half trying to guy a PK. Gazdag buried it, ending 246 scoreless minutes for the Union.

Two minutes later, Uhre provided a lead, sub Quinn Sullivan recovering the ball after an effective counterpress. He played in Uhre, who took two touches to his left, caused defender (and Delco native) George Campbell to stumble and then slipped one home with the outside of his right booth.

That should’ve been all control to the Union. But it lasted only five minutes. Elliott overextended into a challenge on Raheem Edwards and got the ball but continued sliding into the midfielder’s leg. Originally shown as a yellow card, it was quickly upgraded to a red without consultation of the monitor by Unkel as Edwards was stretchered off.

The Union didn’t help themselves by making a hash of the ensuing free kick. Joaquin Sosa, just into the game, headed it off the post, and Piette was the first to nudge it over the line, the defensive midfielder’s first goal in all competitions since August 27, 2021.

The Union had chances 10-v-10, the best a McGlynn wormburner from 30 yards that just snuck wide of the post. Chris Donovan, again preferred as a sub to Tai Baribo, side-footed into the side netting in the second minute of stoppage time. Breza made eight saves, few of them difficult, and 11 corners yielded little more than frustration for the Union.

Source: Berkshire mont

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