After a long international break, the Philadelphia Union was looking to come back Saturday night to take on Cincinnati FC for a chance to go on to the Eastern Conference finals. Even though the break gave them the needed time to get a bit healthier, we still weren’t coming in 100% against a short-handed Cincinnati team. The Union put out their usual 11 except for Glesnes, who was active but returning from hernia surgery.
Exactly What We Expected
The game was just as expected. We saw aggressive Cincinnati and Philadelphia teams trying to contain their attack. The match was very physical and a bit sloppy at times. We played like we should have in the first half. Cincinnati was visibly frustrated trying to get through a strong defensive effort from Philadelphia. This was technically a good game plan. Given the fact that when you get frustrated, you tend to make mistakes as a team, and against a short-handed defense, we looked to capitalize and try to catch them off guard.
After that first half, the Union kept the same game plan they had all game, and it worked. Cincinnati never laid off. They kept being aggressive and trying to get through that Philadelphia defense that was getting tired, especially toward the end of the match. Unfortunately for Philly, Cincy had an opportunity in the 94th minute off a set piece. That opened up a chance for Mosquera to make TQL stadium erupt with a game-winning goal to get to the Eastern Conference championship.
A Little Controversy
The game didn’t end without a bit of controversy as Ian Murphy appeared to be offside when the ball went up and led to the assist, giving the Cincy the goal. We will have to live with VAR’s decision as they ultimately ruled him on. Cincy went on to win the game. However, the Union had chances to capitalize on our attack, which didn’t work as planned. Uhre had the most clear one of them all.
I am always eager to see what next year brings. I have no doubt that Philadelphia will come back stronger. One thing I can say is I am excited to see if we see many different faces on the pitch wearing the blue and gold. Only time will tell. On to the short offseason we go, this year might be over, but always remember, IN THIS HOUSE, WE DOOP!