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VAR helps Union seal tie with Minnesota United



The Philadelphia Union benefited from VAR, but it wasn’t enough to help them seize a much-needed road win.

Ethan Finlay’s goal canceled out CJ Sapong’s opener, earning Minnesota United a 1-1 draw with the visiting Union on Saturday night. The draw leaves the Union four points below the red line with four teams to leapfrog in the final six matches.

Sapong opened the scoring just five minutes in on some marvelous work from Fafa Picault. The winger darted past his defender before firing a cross into the center of the box, one which landed right at the feet of Sapong for the early finish.

Finlay leveled the match just before halftime. Following a series of blocked shots, Loons defender Francisco Calvo spun his way into the box and fired a shot at Andre Blake. The rebound fell to Finlay and, following some pinball, the winger tapped the ball into an open net for his second Loons goal.

VAR then took over, overturning a penalty call in favor of the hosts. Oguchi Onyewu was originally called for a handball in the box, one which would have seen him ejected from the match with a second yellow card. However, review ruled in favor of the Union defender due to a previous foul, taking away the spot kick and preserving the draw.

Now, the Union look ahead to a visit to the New York Red Bulls while Minnesota visits Vancouver to face the Whitecaps in a midweek matchup.


Francisco Calvo was generally a rock in defense and helped create the equalizing goal.


The overturned VAR call changed the game, depriving the Loons of a man advantage and a penalty kick.


Chris Pontius was active on Saturday but not decisive, and that lack of quality in the final third hurt the Union.

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