Philadelphia Union edge 10-man Atlas in CCL quarterfinal opener

CCL 4.4.23 Philly

The Philadelphia Union needed an 89th-minute Dániel Gazdag penalty kick to beat 10-man Atlas FC, 1-0, Tuesday night in their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal first leg at Subaru Park.

Despite the final score, the Liga MX club were arguably the better of the two sides during the opening half and even could've taken the lead in the 25th minute. But Philly goalkeeper Andre Blake came up huge to deny Julián Quiñones in the 1v1, with defender Damion Lowe clearing the Colombian's follow-up effort off the line.

The Union struggled to create real danger in attack until the visitors committed a crucial error right before the break. After a botched clearance, Anderson Santamaría took down Gazdag at the edge of the box and saw a straight red for his goal-preventing foul.

Down a man the entire second half, Atlas did almost nothing but defend for the remainder of the game, with goalkeeper Camilo Vargas emerging as the player of the match by making save after save to keep the game scoreless.

However, Vargas pushed his luck too far in the final minutes with a reckless challenge on Julián Carranza inside the box, awarding the Union a PK that Gazdag converted to give the hosts the deserved win.


  • 89’ - PHI - Dániel Gazdag (PK) | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: It wasn't the most convincing of wins, but the Union got the result they needed – not to mention a 1-0 aggregate cushion ahead of next week's second leg at the Estadio Jalisco. While they still don't entirely look like the dominant side that came just short of MLS Cup-Supporters' Shield glory last season, Philly are that much closer to the CCL semifinals and their dream of lifting the first international trophy in club history.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: With Atlas playing comfortably and showing no signs of distress at Subaru Park, Santamaría's DOGSO challenge on Gazdag swung the momentum entirely in Philadelphia's favor. From then on, it was mostly a matter of when Philadelphia would find the breakthrough.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: He was rewarded with a DP contract in the offseason for moments like this, and Dániel Gazdag delivered. It was an overall quiet evening for the Hungarian international, but when Philadelphia needed him most, he came through with a vital goal that could prove decisive once all is said and done next week in Mexico.

Next Up

  • PHI: Saturday, April 8 vs. FC Cincinnati | 7:30 pm ET (MLS Season Pass) | MLS regular season
  • ATS: Sunday, April 9 vs. Juárez | 10:10 pm ET | Liga MX Clausura