By CAITLIN MURRAY
With a comfortable two-goal lead and just 14 minutes left in regulation, the Philadelphia Union looked able to coast to their second home win of the season. But a 76th minute red card quickly turned the tide as a 10-man Union couldn’t hold back the deluge from the Colorado Rapids, who equalized for a 3-3 draw.
Shoulder-to-shoulder with defender Jared Watts, Union’s Michael Lahoud went in for an overhead kick on a second ball, instead kicking Watts in the face. Lahoud was shown off and Dillon Powers easily converted the penalty kick past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath, who guessed wrong.
Ten minutes later, Deshorn Brown flicked a Gabriel Torres pass around the Union’s back line into space and fired it low near post, drawing the Rapids level for the final result.
The Union opened scoring in the 16th minute on a Raymon Gaddis cross, with Conor Casey knocking a textbook volley near post. Just two minutes later, a Dillon Serna strike through traffic brought the Rapids level.
Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin did his best to keep the Union at bay with a diving save in the 30th minute after a clever give-and-go set up by Danny Cruz. In one of the nicer passing sequences all day, Cruz slipped a ball toward the endline for Fabinho to run onto. Fabinho knocked the ball back in front of goal for Cruz, who fired it far post, where Irwin quickly dove and knocked it away it safety.
But the resulting corner kick gave the Union the lead again. In a sea of burgundy shirts, Sheanon Williams squeezed his way in front of the defense to easily knock a header into the net.
A messy Andrew Wenger goal in the 74th minute had seemingly put the Union in the clear, with the 3-1 lead.
The split in points leaves the Union four points away from playoff contention as the Rapids take sole possession of third place in the Western Conference.
Next up, the Union stay home to host the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday while the Rapids visit the Portland Timbers on Friday.
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We need Valdes and we need to buy DaMarcus Beasely.
Excellent gritty result for the Rapids and an excellent sign that Torres could finally come in for a bit again and be productive.
Holding a two goal lead with 10 men should be doable. This is ridiculous.
This game just shows you we need Carlos Valdes back.
Nothing about the obvious red card miss by the ref early on? Definite game changer. That punk took Cruz out with studs up in the center of the field as the last defender. Even the announcers talked about it over and over again. It was the talk of half time and it came up again afterwards. the announcers couldn’t let it go. My Union are gifted these days in stealing defeat from the jaws of victory…but the ref was incredibly inconsistent. There was even altercation between the refs and the players after the game.
The Philadelphia home announcers might not be the best judge of what should have been a red.
you don’t have to be a homer to see that a studs up high tackle is a red especially when you are arguably the last defender