A bizarre game at PPL Park ended up in a 3-2 win for the New York Red Bulls, despite the Philadelphia Union more than doubling their shot total. It was a match that had more or less everything - some great goals, a bizarre red card, two separate comebacks and some incredible misses.
Joel Lindpere got us going with a screamer in the 17th minute, beating Zac MacMath at his near-post with a left-footed shot, but the Union were dominating and soon replied through Lionard Pajoy, who nodded home a Freddy Adu cross shortly after the half-hour mark. Adu was an unholy terror in the first half, causing huge problems for the visiting defence, but he was, incredibly, dismissed for a dive just before halftime after going down in the box. It looked like a penalty live, but replays showed minimal contact. Nevertheless, it was a highly controversial red card and it looked as though the Red Bulls would be able to break out of their defensive shell in the second half.
That didn't go so well. Pajoy got his brace from an improbable angle just after halftime, skipping past two New York defenders before rolling a shot by Ryan Meara to put the Union up 2-1. Despite having the man advantage, the Red Bulls looked slightly lost - until Markus Holgersson stole in from a corner to bring the game back to level pegging. Kenny Cooper completed the comeback a few minutes later, staying onside to round MacMath and slot home with a composed finish.
Despite being down to ten men, the Union threw bodies forward and really ought to have equalised on more than one occasion. They failed to because of Meara putting in some fantastic blocks and also because of some incredible misses. Michael Farfan had the best chance of the match in the 86th minute, but managed to shoot wide despite being presented with an open goal from all of 15 inches away, and Carlos Valdez managed to swing and miss at said shot from similar distance as it trundled past.
The Union played better football and probably had the better chances, but with finishing like that it's impossible to say that they deserved to win.