Union Fight Reigning Champs for a Point
CHESTER, Pa -- Danny Mwanga and Fabian Espíndola traded first-half goals as the Union and last year’s MLS Cup champs Real Salt Lake battled to an exciting, and sometimes chippy, 1-1 stalemate in front of 16,128 at PPL Park.
RSL edged a point closer to the West-leading Galaxy and continue their impressive form having lost only once since April. The Union, however, may feel it was another result that could have gone in their favor.
Philadelphia opened scoring 10 minutes in thanks to some magic from Sebastien Le Toux. A simple throw-in midway into RSL’s half was directed at Le Toux, who effortlessly flicked the ball around his man and onto a streaking Mwanga. The young striker took a few touches into the box and cooly placed the ball past RSL 'keeper Kyle Reynish.
The Union's early momentum continued to build after the goal, but RSL were able to level the score in the 17th minute thanks to a wonderful individual effort by Espíndola.
Fighting for a ball with Union defender Juan Diego González, Espíndola slipped by his marker to push into the home team’s box. One tricky move around Danny Califf later and Espíndola was alone on Chris Seitz, who had no chance against the forward’s powerful shot at the near post.
The Union owned the remainder of the first half, but they couldn't double their tally as the match went into the break all square.
Opening the second half as the aggressor once more, Philadelphia continued to push RSL to their limits but weren’t able to break the deadlock in what turned out to be a very intense, chippy contest at PPL Park.
Philadelphia will welcome the Colorado Rapids to town on Saturday, while the defending champs have a tough task on their hands in their next match as the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew visit Rio Tinto Stadium.