Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored from close range late into stoppage time to equalize for the Montreal Impact as they twice came from behind to draw Philadelphia Union 2-2 on Wednesday in the Suncoast Invitational.
Ilson Jr. opened the scoring for Philadelphia with a dipping 25-yard effort in the 33rd minute against the run of play. Nick DePuy equalized for Montreal in the 68th minute before C.J. Sapong put the Union back in the lead in the 82nd minute. But Anthony Jackson-Hamel slotted in a shot that deflected off Ken Tribbett late into stoppage time as Montreal salvaged the draw.
The Union started a strong XI with Derrick Jones finding himself in the first team slotting between Haris Medunjanin and Alejandro Bedoya. Jay Simpson was given the start up top, flanked by Ilson Jr. on the right and Fabian Herbers on the left. Keegan Rosenberry, Oguchi Onyewu, Richie Marquez, and Fabinho were the back four in front of Andre Blake.
Montreal was on the front foot from the opening whistle with Laurant Ciman and Ignacio Piatti dictating play for the Impact. Blake was called into action in the 13th minute to deny Piatti’s well struck half volley, flying high to his right to tip the ball away.
Chances were few and far between for the Union as they struggled to possess the ball for the opening half hour. Fabian Herbers did very well coming off the left side and shooting with his right foot in the 15th minute. Fabinho was active down the left as well, always available for an overlap. The Union’s farthest forward, Simpson and Bedoya, struggled to find meaningful touches when the ball did come to them.
Ilson Jr. opened the scoring the 33rd with a well struck shot from 25 yards against the run of play. The winger picked up the ball in the center of the pitch, made a little space to shoot by moving to his right, and fired a low shot that bounced just in front of Maxime Crépeau, who will be disappointed not to have pushed the shot away from that distance.
The goal buoyed the Union who were much more positive after the goal and saw more of the ball, though Blake was forced to bail them out again with a strong save in the 35th minute on Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla.
Philadelphia made two changes to start the second half, with John McCarthy coming in for Andre Blake and Roland Alberg replacing Derrick Jones.
The Union were brighter in the second half, with Medunjanin quarterbacking many of Philadelphia’s better moves. In the 60th minute, he hooked a good ball down the right into Ilson Jr., who squared for Herbers, who could only fire his shot over the bar from the edge of the area.
The Union made wholesale changes in the 63rd minute. Herbers and Alberg were the only field players to stay on as Ray Gaddis, Jack Elliott, Ken Tribbett, Giliano Wijnaldum, Adam Najem, Brian Carroll, Marcus Epps, and C. J. Sapong all came on.
Montreal equalized in the 67th minute through DePuy. Jackson-Hamel would make a 25-yard run with the ball into the Union box on the right side and square for DuPuy, who lost Tribbett to slot in easily from seven yards out.
Sapong would have a great chance to return the Union the lead in the 70th minute, sliding in just ahead of Alberg but pulling his shot wide as the very active Marcus Epps did well to cross from the right.
Philadelphia took a lead in the 82nd minute through Sapong. A short corner kick was worked back to Brian Carroll who lofted a ball to the far post that Tribbett was able to head back across the Montreal goal. The ball drifted just over the head of Epps, but Sapong was just behind him to slide in and head home from his knees.
Philadelphia looked to have done enough to secure the win, but Montreal equalized in the second minute of stoppage time. Anthony Wallace brought down a long ball and looked to take Gaddis on one versus one. Gaddis looked to have position himself well and have the inside track as Wallace pushed the ball past him, but he was unable to clear and the Impact trialist squared a pass for Jackson-Hamel. The forward took his shot first time, and it took an awkward deflection off Tribbett before sneaking past John McCarthy at his near post.
The Union’s final match of the Suncoast Invitation will be against D.C. United on Saturday at 7 pm.
Philadelphia Union lineup
Andre Blake, Keegan Rosenberry, Oguchi Onyewu, Richie Marquez, Fabinho, Haris Medunjanin, Derrik Jones, Alejandro Bedoya, Fabian Herbers, Ilson Jr, Jay Simpson
Halftime subs: John McCarthy for Andre Blake. Roland Alberg for Derrik Jones.
Subs at 60′: Ray Gaddis, Jack Elliott, Ken Tribbett, Giliano Wijnaldum, Adam Najem, Brian Carroll, Marcus Epps, C.J. Sapong
77′: Anthony Fontana for Fabian Herbers