Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Union’s 3-1 loss at Atlanta United marred by red cards to Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin

Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin were ejected within seconds of each other after Atlanta got a questionable penalty kick in the 18th minute.

Referee Sorin Stoica (right) sent off Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin within seconds of each other in the Philadelphia Union's loss at Atlanta United.
Referee Sorin Stoica (right) sent off Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin within seconds of each other in the Philadelphia Union's loss at Atlanta United. Read moreCurtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

The Union lost at Atlanta United, 3-1, on Saturday, in a game that was marred by two Union red cards after Atlanta got a questionable penalty kick in the 18th minute

Josef Martínez drew the penalty by making the most of light contact from Auston Trusty. Union players swarmed referee Sorin Stoica to protest the contact. They also claimed Martínez was offside when he was set loose toward goal.

But replays showed Martínez wasn't offside, having been kept onside by Haris Medunjanin far from the play. And more important, Stoica wasn't in a mood to be convinced.

As Martinez was lining up at the spot, Stoica whistled Bedoya for being in the arc at the edge of the 18-yard box, which constitutes a delay of game. It was the Union captain's second booking of the game after an 11th-minute tactical foul, and got him sent off.

Union manager Jim Curtin said after the game that Bedoya was fixing a sock and that Stoica took that as a delay-of-game infraction.

"From everything that the Atlanta players have told me, from what the fourth official said, he had no idea that Ale was already on a yellow card, which is a mistake," Curtin said."I understand that there's 50,000 people here and it's loud, and there's the heat of the moment. But I would love for him [Stoica] to come out and just own it and say that he made a mistake."

Seconds after the second yellow card to Bedoya,  Stoica gave Medunjanin two yellow cards for dissent in immediate succession, dismissing the Bosnian for the night. The Union (5-6-3, 18 points) were thus left with nine men on the field in the blink of an eye.

Bedoya and Medunjanin will also miss Friday's home game against Toronto FC (8 p.m., PHL17). But they can play in Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup home game against the Richmond Kickers (7 p.m.), because it's a different competition.

Martinez converted the penalty, which almost felt like an afterthought at that point. Jim Curtin immediately withdrew Borek Dockal, sending in Warren Creavalle to try to stop things from getting any worse.

That worked through halftime, but the dam broke just over three minutes into the second half. Atlanta carved the the Union up with a 17-pass sequence that started with a throw-in and ended with Miguel Almirón racing in behind Ray Gaddis to set up Martinez from close range.

The Union stole a goal back off a free kick in the 52nd minute. Fabinho's initial service from the right wing was redirected back to Creavalle, who chipped the ball over Atlanta's back line. Fafa Picault trapped the ball and finished coolly past Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Atlanta (9-3-2, 29 points) got its third goal in the 82nd, after Fabinho blocked a shot with an outstretched arm while in the Union's 18-yard box. Martínez stepped up to the spot again, and got his hat trick with an emphatic smash.