Loons rally to edge Philadelphia Union 3-2

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Minnesota United left-side attacker Franco Fragapane's goal in the 67th minute stood as the winner in a contentious, clutch 3-2 victory over Eastern Conference opponent Philadelphia on Wednesday night at Allianz Field.

The Loons led 1-0 in the 40th minute, were tied 1-1 at halftime and trailed 2-1 early in the second half before Robin Lod and Fragapane scored consecutive goals.

They did so on a night the Loons played the final 13-plus minute without defender Romain Metanire, who was ejected for a red-card call.

The Loons scored twice in four minutes after Philadelphia had scored twice itself — once near first half's end, then again near second half's start. Striker Adrien Hunou's goal had given the Loons a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute.

Both of Philadelphia's goals came from Hungarian midfielder Daniel Gazdag, one on a powerful strike from distance and the other on a header near the goal line that finished off a caroming corner kick.

But Lod tied the score shortly after entering as a second-half sub in his second game back from a long trip overseas to play two World Cup qualifying games for the Finland national team.

Lod scored his team-leading eighth goal in the 63rd minute after Emanuel Reynoso dribbled around a Union defender and slipped a back-heel pass to him, as he had done on Hunou's goal in the 40th minute.

Lod scored with a blast high into the right corner of the goal from open space that Reynoso found with his vision and heel.

Four minutes later, Fragapane put the Loons ahead again with his fourth goal on a header after Union keeper Andre Blake stopped Hunou's shot with both hands.

The Loons played the final 13 minutes plus three minutes' injury time shorthanded after Metanire was ejected for a red-card foul after he threw a ball at short distance into Union defender Kai Wagner's face after a skirmish that left a Philadelphia player writhing on the turf for no apparent reason.

Ten days earlier, it was the Loons who had a man's advantage — that time for 35-plus minutes — and allowed Colorado three unanswered goals in a 3-1 loss. On Wednesday, they tightened up, hunkered down and kept Philadelphia from scoring the tying goal the rest of the way.

The teams exchanged goals late in the first half that sent them tied into halftime until Gazdag got his brace by finishing off a corner kick for his secondgoal of the night.

Until Wednesday, Gazdag had scored just once in his first 18 MLS games after he was signed from his native Hungary last spring.

This time, he scored a tying goal late just before halftime and a go-ahead goal not long after it to wipe away a brief 1-0 Minnesota United lead. Hunou scored the game's first goal in the 40th minute on the same day the MLS Players Association updated league salaries that showed Hunou is by far his team's highest-paid player.

The lead didn't last long before Union midfielder Gazdag tied the score with a curving strike from distance that eluded Loons keeper Tyler Miller and his hopes of a team-record 12th clean sheet this season.

Hunou's goal was his sixth this season since he was acquired from French first-division team Stade Rennais for which he had played most his life. He signed a three-year contract with a club option for a fourth season that's listed as worth $2,587,702 in guaranteed compensation for this year.

He scored with a short, left-footed shot created by attacking mates Fragapane and Reynoso. Reynoso started it all by intercepting a short Philadelphia pass just beyond the 18-yard penalty box line.

He immediately delivered a back-heel pass to Fragapane going forward. Fragapane slipped a pass ahead splitting two defenders to Hunou.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting