The start of the game was just what the Philadelphia Union needed. They pressured FC Dallas effectively and some early chances on goal. However, in the game’s last few minutes the jubilation and happiness would shift to heartbreak and disappointment In front of 18,212 Union faithful on Saturday, Philadelphia failed to secure their first-ever victory against Dallas and settled for a 2-2 tie.
In the 20th minutes, PPL Park was loud and energetic as Amobi Okugo found game’s first goal off of a Sheanon Williams’ throw-in. However, Dallas shifted the momentum by finding their own set-piece goalfour minutes later. Michel hit an effective free kick that found an open Walker Zimmerman around the near post, and Zimmerman headed it on home.
Towards the end of the first half and much of the second half, the yellow cards came out at a healthy pace. In total, FC Dallas saw five yellow cards with two given to Je-Vaughn Watson. Watson earned his second yellow card for diving. On the Union side, four yellow cards were handed out with Antoine Hoppenot’s card given for diving. Whether or not all these cards were warranted, one thing was for certain- Head referee Allen Chapman has a zero tolerance policy for diving.
During part of the second half, chants for Roger Torres were heard from the Sons’ of Ben, but John Hackworth rightly never put him in. Aaron Wheeler subbed on for Connor Casey in the 79th minutes and moments later found his first MLS goal. Williams came up big yet again and hit a nicely lofted ball into the box and Wheeler headed it beautifully home. It looked the Union found the game-winner with only a few moments remaining.
However, that would not be the case. Dallas looked to have found the equalizer on Blas Perez’s shot, but Williams cleared the ball off the line. Whether or not it was a goal according to replay, the referee did not call it a goal. Moments later though, Perez would indeed secure one point for Dallas. They received a free kick from about 25 yards out, and they made the most of the chance. Zac MacMath tried to catch the ball but couldn’t hold on, and Perez tapped the ball into the net. MacMath furiously went towards the referee saying he was fouled, but the goal stood. Dissapointly, the Union tied FC Dallas 2-2 and finished up their two-game homestand with four points. Hackworth was not pleased with only one point and felt like two points slipped away in those final moments.
He wasn’t the only person who felt those exact thoughts. A tie is great and all, but not when they were moments away from victory. In short, MacMath was in position on the free-kick, but he tried to catch it rather than punch away the ball.
With a point cushion above the New York Red Bulls who play tomorrow, Philadelphia sits in second place with 26 points. Philadelphia’s next game takes them west to Real Salt Lake before a visit to the Houston Dynamo. Those games are slated for July 3 and 6.