Defenses hold firm as Philadelphia, Pachuca battle to draw
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Defenses hold firm as Philadelphia, Pachuca battle to draw

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MIAMI, Florida The Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer (MLS) and Liga MX side Pachuca kicked off their 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup Round of 16 series with a cagey 0-0 draw in the first leg on Tuesday night at Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.

It was a night in which both defenses stood tall, making for a minor victory for the Union by not conceding an away goal, leaving things wide open going into next week’s second leg in Mexico.

It was end-to-end action to start, with Pachuca having a couple good cracks at goal, while visiting GK Carlos Moreno twice denied Philadelphia’s Mikael Uhre in the opening minutes.

The Union defense survived a huge scare in the 34’ when DF Jakob Glesnes under-hit a back pass, allowing Erick Sanchez to swoop in and with Philadelphia GK Andre Blake way off his line, but the Tuzos were never able to get off a clean look.

The start of the second stanza saw Pachuca on the front foot with a pair of scoring chances through Salomon Rondon, but neither drawing a save from Blake.

The most dangerous player of the night for the Tuzos was Oussama Idrissi, who also had a few cracks at breaking the deadlock, while at the other end Moreno was largely untested by the Philadelphia attack.

Yet the clearest chance of the night fell in the 77’ for Daniel Gazdag, who had a wide-open look at goal when Moreno couldn’t corral a deep Quinn Sullivan cross, but the chip from the Union attacker floated over the crossbar.

Pachuca would have the final look at a score thanks to the playmaking of Bryan Gonzalez, who cut back for Idrissi, only to see the shot slice well to the right, sealing the scoreless result.