Apr 7, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; San Jose Earthquakes defender Nick Lima (24) and Philadelphia Union defender Auston Trusty (26) battle for the ball during the first half at Talen Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
CHESTER, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union continued a disappointing early-season trend in their 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
The Union dropped two points at Talen Energy Stadium for the second consecutive game, and this time around they were forced to scrap back into the contest after a defensive lapse.
“I’m frustrated, it’s crap to tie a game,” Alejandro Bedoya said. “Nothing against San Jose, but to play like that in the first half and not get anything out of it? Same last week against Colorado. The first half we dominated and we haven’t been able to get anything out it.”
Magnus Eriksson handed the Quakes the lead eight minutes before halftime, while Alejandro Bedoya equalized in the second half for the home side.
“All of the players executed their roles, did their jobs but just a night where the ball didn’t seem like it was going to go in,” Union manager Jim Curtin said. “Credit to the guys, I thought the team goal that we scored was an excellent one.”
“I thought it was one of those situations where you almost felt we needed just to, even if it’s an ugly goal off a restart or a deflection that would open up the floodgates,” Curtin said. “I thought we controlled the tempo of the game, even in the first half, I was really happy with how aggressive we were, how much we passed the ball.”
San Jose produced the breakthrough in an otherwise drab first half, when Eriksson struck the top-right corner of the net from open space in the box.
Eriksson was allowed that much space since Auston Trusty was caught up past the halfway line in an attempt to press the visitors.
The Union ramped up the pressure in the second half by way of their pair of speedy wingers, David Accam and Fafa Picault.
The home side didn’t find an equalizer until the 64th minute, when Alejandro Bedoya connected with a Picault cross near the right side of the net.
Bedoya sliced inside Chris Wondolowski with an incisive run to head home his first goal of the season and fourth of his Union career.
“I don’t remember exactly how the whole play developed,” Bedoya said. “I saw Fafa out wide, he straightened his guy up and was running at him, and so just I tried to get ot the back post, make a late run in the box and go unmarked. I was able to get on the end of it and get a goal.”
The Union created a plethora of chances after tying the game, with substitutes Ilsinho and Ray Gaddis adding an extra element to the players already on the field.
The best late opportunity came in the 90th minute, when Ilsinho’s cross from the right wing landed around a few players.
“We need to have a sense of urgency in the final third, get more guys in the box and make more decisive runs,” Bedoya said. “It’s not good enough. We let ourselves down. We haven’t been playing bad, so that’s the positive but we can’t concede these types of goals. We got off the hook today a little bit, we were able to find that goal, but we have to do better offensively, be more clinical and finish our chances.”
Unfortunately for the home side, the Quakes walled up in front of the net and stopped a shot from reaching Andrew Tarbell.
After the final whistle, San Jose defender Harold Cummings was handed a red card by a video review for a punch to Trusty’s groin.
“I was tussling with him. He hit me in the private area,” Trusty said. “That’s the good thing with the VAR that being inputted into the league because no one would’ve saw that. At least the VAR saw it so that’s good.”
Despite failing to pick up a victory, the Union left Talen Energy Stadium with plenty of positives ahead of their Friday clash with Orlando City.
“We’ll score. It’s not really a worry,” Union winger Fafa Picault said. “We’re gelling. We’re getting new guys, and myself it’s also new. It’s gonna work. It’s gonna be fine. No worries.”