Wednesday night didn’t start the way Philadelphia wanted it to at Jalisco Stadium. Atlas took the lead just 11 minutes into the game after a defensive breakdown by the Union led to an FC goal by none other than Colombian striker Julian Quinones giving the Mexican side an early 1-0 advantage and the tie 1-1 on aggregate.
After conceding the goal, Philadelphia began to settle in and take control of the midfield, creating chances of their own. Until the 28th minute when a beautiful pass by Jack Mcglynn with his right foot found Julian Carranza, who made his best run and finish of the season to give him his first goal in 8 contests and tie the game up at one. Philadelphia got the coveted away goal they were looking for coming into tonight.
To the Action
It looked like the boys in blue would take a 2-1 lead on aggregate into halftime, but Atlas would respond in extra time after Kai Wagner, who returned from a hamstring injury, got beat up on the left side on a long pass that leads to another defensive breakdown by Jake Elliott who left Julio Furch all alone in front of the net to bury the pass by Ozziel Herrera to give Atlas the 2-1 lead going into the half.
To start the second, Jim Curtin put in Nate Harriel for Kai Wagner, who looked to be bothered by that hamstring at the end of the half. From there, the Atlas pressure was all over Philadelphia, who was sitting back, trying to hold on to the away goal lead and looking for counterattacks.
In the 78th minute, the counterattack paid off. A pass from Mikkel Uhre freed King Julian, who hit the ball with class into the back of the net. The play was called offside, but after VAR for a second time this game, the call was overturned and ruled a good goal for the away side. This gave Carranza his second Doop of the night and Philadelphia the 2-2 equalizer.
Philadelphia Advances to the Semifinals
Atlas began to unravel, and in the 87th minute. Aldo Rocha was shown a red card after his 2nd yellow was assessed for arguing with the referee. This left FC helpless, with just 10 men for the final 9 minutes of the game. Needing 2 goals, after 90 minutes, Philadelphia held a 3-2 lead on aggregate. Philadelphia now advances to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
The Philadelphia Union will face a familiar foe next round. The same team, who just 5 months ago beat them on penalty kicks in the MLS finals, Los Angeles FC. The boys in blue will look for revenge in the Semifinals of the CCL.
My name is Diego Bianchi born and raised in Philadelphia. I’m a sports analyst, writer, and show host covering Philadelphia sports for Edge of Philly Sports. I also am a credentialed media member covering the Philadelphia Union for EOP. My passion for sports started since forever ago. At least, it feels like that. Thanks to my amazing family. I love doing this every day. You can catch me every Monday night on the Sully Squad at 6 PM on Edge of Philly Sports.