Red Bulls Lose Two Goal Lead In Draw Vs. Union

New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer
Photo courtesy of New York Red Bulls

The New York Red Bulls played to a 2-2 draw with the Philadelphia Union on Sunday night at Talen Energy Stadium. Sacha Kljestan staked New York a 2-0 lead, but Philadelphia rallied in the second half to earn a point.

The Red Bulls have earned points in three straight and in eight of the last 10 matches. New York remains in third place in the East, two points behind the Union. New York is now 9-5-3 all-time against Philadelphia and 3-4-2 in games played in Chester.

Kljestan, who was named to the MLS 2016 AT&T All-Star Game roster on Sunday evening, struck first in the 27th minute. Pressure from Mike Grella caused a turnover in the final third, and the ball was collected and played into the path of Kljestan by Bradley Wright-Phillips for an easy finish.

Kljestan got his second of the night on a free kick in the 44th minute. The midfielder opted to take the shot from more than 25 yards out that dipped over the wall and froze Union goalkeeper Andre Blake. Kljestan now has four goals in MLS this season and five across all competitions. It was the second multi-goal game of his MLS career, and his first in a Red Bulls jersey.

Philadelphia answered with two goals in a minute in the second half. C.J. Sapong scored on a penalty in the 67th minute and Chris Pontius finished a cross in front of goal for the second.

In the 72nd minute, Philadelphia’s Ilsinho was show a red card after throwing a forearm at Connor Lade. But despite playing down a man, the Union maintained pressure on New York, and missed on several opportunities to take a late lead.

Red Bulls center back Damien Perrinelle made his first MLS start of 2016 in the match. Perrinelle, who suffered a knee injury in the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, made his season debut last weekend as a substitute in the 2-0 win over Orlando City SC.

Luis Robles continued his iron man run, playing a full 90 minutes for the 127th consecutive regular season match. Robles made six saves to preserve a point for New York.