Kellyn Acosta made amends for a handball that cost LAFC a penalty kick in the 86th minute by scoring the tying goal in stoppage time and giving the defending MLS champion a 1-1 tie at the Philadelphia Union in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League semifinals on Wednesday night at Subaru Park.
The MLS Cup 2022 finalists are off this weekend and return to action for the second leg of the semifinals on Tuesday at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles.
After a long pause, Video Review determined Acosta had committed a handball in the box on Jack McGlynn’s shot to send Union midfielder Daniel Gazdag to the penalty spot, where he made no mistake. The Hungarian had also won the first leg of the quarterfinals, converting a penalty kick in the 89th minute for a 1-0 win over Atlas.
On Wednesday night, the Union was unable to hold on for the win, though, turning the ball over in its own territory early in stoppage time. A deflected cross from Timothy Tillman came into the middle of the penalty area, where Acosta volleyed the ball off the ground and it bounced past a helpless Andre Blake.
"My group right now is upset and angry as they should be because we had a little lapse in judgement at the end of the game," said Union coach Jim Curtin.
Despite the letdown on the tying goal, Curtin said he saw a lot of good things from his team.
“I really love how the team played," he said, "so this is why it sounds so contradictory because it feels a little empty conceding late like we did.”
April 26 in Chester, Pa.
Philadelphia Union 1 LAFC 1. Goals: Gazdag pen. 86; Acosta 90+1.
Philadelphia Union -- Blake; Wagner, Glesnes, Elliott, Mbaizo, McGlynn, Martinez (Flach 79), Bedoya, Uhre (Sullivan 79), Gazdag, Carranza.
LAFC -- McCarthy; Hollingshead, Murillo, Long, D.Palacios; Sanchez, Acosta, Cifuentes (Tillman 79); Vela (Biuk 68), Opoku (Bogusz 46), Bouanga.
Referee: Cesar Ramos. Assistant Referees: Alberto Morin, Marco Bisguerra. Fourth Official: Marco Ortiz. VAR: Erik Miranda. Ast. VAR: Guillermo Pacheco