Charlotte FC surrenders late goal to settle for draw with Philadelphia

Charlotte FC 2, Philadelphia Union 2
Ben Bender gets ready to fire at the goal in Charlotte FC's game against LAFC.
Ben Bender gets ready to fire at the goal in Charlotte FC's game against LAFC.(WBTV)
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:40 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Dániel Gazdag scored on a penalty kick in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time - his league-record 11th PK goal of the season - to rally Philadelphia to a 2-2 draw with Charlotte FC on Wednesday night, clinching a playoff spot for the Union.

Gazdag, who has 13 goals this season, scored the equalizer after Olivier Mbaizo drew a foul on Charlotte’s Brecht Dejaegere.

All the scoring was done in the second half.

Justin Meram found the net unassisted in the 55th minute to give Charlotte (7-9-12) a 1-0 lead. It was Meram’s first goal of the season.

Karol Swiderski picked up his eighth goal this season, scoring unassisted in the 61st minute to make it 2-0.

Philadelphia (14-8-6) answered in the 70th minute when Quinn Sullivan used an assist from Julián Carranza to score for the first time this season.

Kristijan Kahlina finished with three saves - all in the first half - for Charlotte. Andre Blake had three of his four saves in the first half for Philadelphia.

Charlotte is now unbeaten in its last seven regular-season home matches but six have ended in draws.

The home team had won all three previous matchups.

Philadelphia returns home to host Los Angeles FC on Saturday. Charlotte travels to play FC Cincinnati on Saturday.