Recap: Union, Wizards Play to 1-1 Draw
Chester, Pa. (September 4, 2010) – A tremendous
performance from Kansas City Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen prevented
Philadelphia Union from taking three points on Saturday, with the match ending
in a 1-1 draw at PPL Park. Sebastien Le Toux put the Union up 1-0 in the first half when he
became the first player in MLS this season with double-digit goals and assists, but a well-taken second
half free kick from Davy Arnaud leveled the match at one goal apiece.
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
Kansas City came out controlling possession in the first 10
minutes, but only registered one harmless strike from distance by Arnaud
to show for it. The first near goal came from Philadelphia, however, when Amobi Okugo intercepted
a pass in the midfield and worked a give-and-go with Harvey to receive the ball
down the left flank. The 19-year-old rookie sent a dangerous, bending cross
into the area for Le Toux, but it was just out of reach for the
Union’s leading scorer.
The Union would continue to press in the middle portion of
the first half, nearly converting twice. In the 26th minute, Stefani Miglioranzi
rifled a shot from 25 yards out that deflected off a defender into the post,
and two minutes later Le Toux turned and unleashed a shot from just past the
edge of the area, but Nielsen dove to his right to
deflect it over the endline.
Philadelphia’s pressure would be rewarded in the 33rd
minute. After a loose ball came to Justin Mapp,
the midfielder slid a weighted through ball to Danny Mwanga, who was streaking down
the left flank. Mwanga ran onto it just outside the area, taking two touches
before finding an onrushing Le Toux in front of the goal. The Frenchman made no
mistake, one-timing the ball past a lunging Nielsen to put the Union up 1-0.
Kansas City nearly equalized in the opening moments of the
second half, but Michael Orozco Fiscal made a last-second, goal-saving tackle
to knock the ball away from Ryan Smith just as the Arsenal academy product was
about to shoot into a wide-open net.
Philadelphia had multiple chances to take a two-goal
advantage, but Nielsen repeatedly came with acrobatic saves to stifle promising
WATCH: POST-MATCH INTERVIEWS
In the 53rd minute, Mapp
took a pass from Mwanga 10 yards from goal to the left of the net, but Nielsen
got his foot to the low strike to knock it away. In the 54th, Nielsen
made another terrific save to stop a shot from a similar spot after Mwanga
broke free for a breakaway. With former Union defender Shavar Thomas on his back, Mwanga
attempted to beat the KC ‘keeper near post, but Nielsen was up to the task again. In the 66th minute, after a yellow card, Mapp sent a dangerous
free kick into the area that found Le Toux, but his header that
seemed destined for the near post was sent away at the last moment by yet another sprawling save.
Kansas City would level the match in the 71st minute with a pristinely-taken free kick from 30 yards out. Arnaud sent a perfectly placed ball from the left touchline to the far post, and a leaping Chris Seitz was unable to change its trajectory.
The equalizer would stand, with neither side able to find a late game-winner. Philadelphia still haven't recorded a shutout in league play
this season, despite allowing only six goals in their
last six matches in all competitions, 19 goals in their last 17 matches in all
competitions, and just a single goal in eight of their last 12 league
matches. Philadelphia will return to action next Saturday at PPL Park, where
they’ll take on the Chicago Fire at 6:00pm ET.
PHI – Sebastien Le Toux 10 (Danny Mwanga 4, Justin Mapp 3) 33’
KC – Davy Arnaud 4 (Unassisted) 71’
KC -- Roger Espinoza (caution; Reckless Foul) 64
PHI -- Michael Orozco Fiscal (caution; Reckless Foul) 71
Kansas City Wizards -- Jimmy Nielsen, Michael Harrington, Jimmy Conrad,Shavar Thomas (Jonathan Leathers 65), Roger Espinoza, Davy Arnaud, Craig Rocastle, Teal Bunbury, Stephane Auvray (Josh Wolff 61), Ryan Smith, Birahim Diop (Jack Jewsbury 74).
Substitutes Not Used: Korede Aiyegbusi, Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Eric Kronberg.
Philadelphia Union -- Chris Seitz, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Danny Califf, Juan Diego Gonzalez, Jordan Harvey, Andrew Jacobson (Jack McInerney 73), Stefani Miglioranzi (Roger Torres 46), Amobi Okugo, Justin Mapp (Alejandro Moreno 82), Danny Mwanga, Sebastien Le Toux.
Substitutes Not Used: Cristian Arrieta, Kyle Nakazawa, Brad Knighton, Sheanon Williams.
Referee: Ramon Hernandez
Referee's Assistants: Cameron Blair; Thomas Supple
4th Official: Jeff Gontarek
Time of Game: 1:50