Red Bulls Can’t Hold Leads And Fall To Philadelphia

Red Bulls
Philadelphia defender Kai Wagner (27) reacts after defeating the New York Red Bulls in the first-round playoff match at Talen Energy Stadium. Photo: Eric Hartline, USA Today Sports

Coming out of the locker room following halftime, the New York Red Bulls held a 3-1 lead and appeared to have control of its MLS Cup Playoff match against the Philadelphia Union.

But the second 45 minutes proved to be a different story as the host Union scored twice, and would then get the game-winning goal one minute into stoppage time of the first extra-time session to defeat New York 4-3.

The loss to Philadelphia brings an abrupt end to the season for the Red Bulls. The Union will now travel to Georgia to take on the defending champions Atlanta United on Thursday. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.

The Red Bulls opened the match with an early 2-0 lead in the first 24 minutes. Josh Sims recorded the game’s opening goal after a feed from Daniel Royer seven minutes in. Tim Parker in the 24th minute followed up with a header off a corner kick to double the lead.

Philadelphia would get on the scoreboard in the 30th minute as Alejandro Bedoya capitalized on a set piece to narrow New York’s lead to one. 

In the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time, the Red Bulls would take a 3-1 lead as Tom Barlow found the back of the net.

The second half proved to be a much different story as Philadelphia gained control of the match. Its hard work would be rewarded in the 52nd minute when Jack Elliott would get on the end of a loose ball and score to again cut New York’s lead to one. 

The equalizer would come in the 78th minute when Fafa Picault slotted home a pass from Sergio Santos to level the match at three and send Union fans at Talen Energy Stadium into a frenzy.

After neither team could find a fourth goal in regulation, the Union’s game-winner would come in the dying seconds of the first extra-time session. Marco Fabian would score off of a cross from Picault in stoppage time of the first period of extra time to give Philadelphia its first lead of the match.