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Reckless tackle in Philadelphia Union Concacaf game results in a brawl, but not a red card

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An end-of-match horror tackle was the main storyline of Philadelphia Union’s 1-0 win away against Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa in the Concacaf Champions League. The game, which was the MLS club’s debut in the international club competition, then devolved into a full fracas between both sides.

The incident itself happened right about the time the final whistle would have gone off, when Philly cleared a shot out of the penalty box. Kai Wagner went for the ball at the same time as Saprissa’s Ricardo Blanco was headed for that direction. Blanco, however, did not seem to have any intention of going for the ball and instead went with a two-legged slide tackle that flipped over Wagner.

The move left the Union man writhing on the ground as Philadelphia players started charging toward Blanco in defense of their teammate. That in turn caused Saprissa players to charge towards the Union players charging at their teammate, and then led to both sides pushing and shoving one another as the officials tried to calm things down.

It might come as a surprise to learn that the most shocking thing about that clip was not the tackle itself, nor was it the scrum that ensued after the fact. Instead, it’s the fact that the referee only booked Blanco with a yellow card. Not only were many who saw the game perplexed, but so was Union captain Alejandro Bedoya.

“I have to sit up here and be held accountable for my play, the referee should be the same there they should’ve explained that decision because that’s a red in every part of the world,” he said after the game, per Union Nation.

The second leg of this match is scheduled to take place next week in Chester, Pennsylvania.




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