Philadelphia Union 1-1 Chicago Fire: Honors even at Subaru Park
Photo via @ChicagoFire on Twitter

The points were shared at Subaru Park on Sunday afternoon as the Philadelphia Union drew 1-1 at home to the Chicago Fire.

The away side went up a goal early on when Przemysław Frankowski scored a header, but they then went down a man when Wyatt Omsberg was shown a red card. The Union equalized right before the break through Kai Wagner, but they could not make the most of their man advantage in the second half, and the match ended level.

This result doesn’t do too much for either, but it’s certainly a case of two points dropped for Philadelphia and one point gained for Chicago due to the circumstances of the contest.

Story of the match

Chicago would surprisingly take the lead after just 10 minutes. A superb cross into the area from Boris Sekulić picked out Przemysław Frankowski, and he headed home from close range past Andre Blake.

Strange things then happened at the half hour mark. A through ball over the top wasn’t dealt with properly by Wyatt Omsberg, which allowed Cory Burke to get a shot off. His attempt was saved, but the referee decided to turn to VAR to review the play. After a few moments, he decided to send off the defender and award Philadelphia a free-kick on the edge of the area. 

The hosts scored from the resulting free-kick, as Kai Wagner stepped up and drilled a low shot that managed to sneak under the wall and into the back of the net even though the Fire had someone lying down in the wall.

The Union had a huge chance to go in front right before the half. Dániel Gazdag found space out wide before cutting inside, and for some reason, no one stepped up to defend him. He couldn’t make the most of the opportunity, though, blasting a shot well wide of the target.

Philadelphia continued to pile on the pressure after the break, and they should have taken the lead in the 52nd minute. A cross towards the back post made its way to Gazdag, but he messed things up, somehow heading the ball wide from just a few yards out.

The rest of the second half was quite poor, to be fair. Chicago understandably kept almost everyone back, while Philadelphia pretty much had all of the ball. They didn’t do much with it, though, only creating a few half-chances.

Bobby Shuttleworth was forced to come up big in stoppage time, though, as saved a shot from close range to secure a point for his side. 

Takeaways

I do think the referee got the red card call in the first half wrong. It seems like Wyatt Omsberg did foul Cory Burke, but he did so in the area, which meant that a penalty should have been called and that the defender should have only been shown a yellow card. It was a close call either way, so different people will likely have differing opinions on what should have been called.

Fabian Herbers is a good player, but him avoiding the ball whilst laying down in the wall was a bad moment for him. It was his job to make sure the free-kick couldn’t sneak under the jumping wall, and he failed.

This game was not fun to watch. Philadelphia did not play well, while Chicago spent the second half in survival mode. No one can blame the latter for making the match as ugly as possible, but the hosts should have done more.

Man of the match - Francisco Calvo

Making his return to the side after missing the last few games, Francisco Calvo played a big part in Chicago getting a point from the contest.

Leading the backline like a true captain, the Costa Rican stepped up when his team needed him to. He made a few key blocks and interceptions on the afternoon, and most importantly, he didn’t make any stupid mistakes.

It was a very solid showing, and Fire fans will hope that Calvo can keep playing like this in the future.

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