The Cosmos and Union needed extra time to decide a winner, and while that winner never looked likely to come from open play for either side, some absolutely inept refereeing on the night culminated with the awarding of a match winning penalty to the Philadelphia Union. Tonight's officials never really had control of the match, routinely missing goal kick, corner, foul, and throw-in decisions for both sides. I suppose it's only fitting that a penalty decision wound up deciding the match. By the end, there were only 19 players on the pitch, and the Cosmos' dugout was missing several coaches.
The first half started out with the Cosmos controlling things, but creating no chances of note at the Union end of the field. Philly managed to build themselves into the game as the first half wore on though, especially once Joseph Nane went off with what looked like a head injury.
The second half started much the same as the first half ended, with the Cosmos seeing a fair amount of the ball while struggling to create anything. That all changed when Danny Szetela led Alessandro Noselli perfectly, before the Italian forward chipped the goalkeeper to put the visitors up 1-0.
Within a minute, the score was level again from the foot of Sebastian Le Toux. Andrew Wenger managed to get free for a cross down the right hand side, and found the open forward for a tap-in at the far post.
New York looked to be running out of steam as the game entered the final 20 minutes, and the majority of the chances began to fall for the MLS side. While the visitors managed to create a chance or two for themselves, holding on until the 30 minutes of extra time was probably a good chance to catch their breath and change their approach.
Extra time started with a bit of controversy, as Mads Stokkelien was run over from behind while free on the Union goal. The correct decision would have been both a penalty and a sending off for a last-man foul, but the referee decided to keep the whistle in his pocket as opposed to giving New York a big advantage.
The second session of extra time saw the referee make that game changing decision, deciding to award a Philadelphia penalty after Jimmy Ockford fouled Maurice Edu in the box. The call itself looked defensible enough, but following the no-call in the first session of extra time, it will leave Cosmos' coaches, players, and fans feeling very bitter about the decision. The referee then compounded matters by starting to throw players off for boiling over, with a Union player joining Ayoze and Jimmy Ockford as sending offs.
With that, the Cosmos' first U.S. Open Cup run has come to a premature end. It's hard to come away from the match feeling that the Cosmos were out of their league facing MLS opposition, as they held their own against a full-strength Union squad while absolutely dominating Red Bull New York. It was a fun cup run, it's just a shame that it was possibly cut short by some poor refereeing.