Houston, TX (May 29, 2010) – Philadelphia Union won their first road game in club history on Saturday night, topping the Houston Dynamo 3-2 on a second straight stoppage-time goal from rookie Danny Mwanga. After going into halftime up 1-0, Houston took the lead with two goals in a 10-minute span. The Union didn’t quit, leveling the score at 2-2 in the 69th minute before taking the lead in the waning moments.
“I think for the team, it means the work paid off," said manager Peter Nowak. "It was a tough environment we played in, and a victory like that over the Houston Dynamo is very good because it’s very difficult to play here. We came back to score a goal in injury time, and it’s very special.
"I feel like this is a work in progress. This is still a very young group who wants to work and win games, and for me it’s a work in progress. We are eight weeks in the season, and we have 22 games in front of us.”
While neither team created many chances in the first 30 minutes, Houston nearly struck first off of a Brad Davis free kick from a dangerous position to the left of the penalty area, but Eddie Robinson’s header was just wide.
The Union got on the board first in the 39th minute on a spectacular individual display by Shea Salinas, who made his first start of the season as a midfielder. Salinas won the ball from Bobby Boswell in the right corner and dribbled along the endline towards goal. When Pat Onstad came out, Salinas flicked the ball far post with his right foot into the left corner of the net for a 1-0 Union lead.
Houston struck back shortly after the break in the 52nd minute. Davis sent a curling free kick into the box from a dangerous position and World Cup snub Brian Ching rose up and headed it into the top of the net to tie the score at 1-1.
Chris Seitz momentarily kept the score level, stoning Danny Cruz's angled shot from 10 yards out to keep the score tied at 1-1.
The Dynamo took the lead in the 59th minute off another set piece following a Stefani Miglioranzi yellow card. Davis sent another perfectly placed ball far post and an onrushing Robinson powerfully headed the ball past Seitz for a 2-1 Houston lead.
The scoring continued in the second half, with Sebastien Le Toux tying it up at 2-2 in the 69th minute. Roger Torres chipped to Danny Mwanga in the box after a give-and-go and the rookie found Le Toux wide open at the top of the area. Le Toux picked his spot carefully and knocked a ball that deflected off a Houston defender into the left corner of the net.
With time running out, the Union took a 3-2 lead on a dramatic stoppage-time goal from Mwanga, his second in as many matches. Alejandro Moreno sent Le Toux down the right touchline and the Frenchman turned toward goal, running at Onstad and sliding a cross on the ground to Mwanga, who knocked the ball into the back of the net from seven yards out.
“It was a great feeling," Mwanga said about his game-winning goal." I came in last game and was able to score a goal, and that was definitely a great effort. As a forward, you know you need to bring something to the table to help your team, and I was able to score that goal (tonight) and help my teammates, and I am very excited for it.
“We came out pretty hard, and we knew that Houston was a very good team, especially at home. We knew it would be a hard game. So we came out to try and play hard and help each other and not give up until the referee blew the whistle. We all stuck together and stayed focused for the whole game, and I’m very happy we came away with a win.”
The win enables Philadelphia to build on the momentum created last match against Dallas. With another two away games ahead, including a match against the Chicago Fire next Saturday, the Union secured three much-needed points before the opening of PPL Park on June 27th.
PHI -- Shea Salinas 1 (Alejandro Moreno 4) 39
HOU -- Brian Ching 1 (Brad Davis 5) 52
HOU -- Eddie Robinson 1 (Brad Davis 6) 59
PHI -- Sebastien Le Toux 5 (Danny Mwanga 1, Roger Torres 3) 69
PHI -- Danny Mwanga 2 (Sebastien Le Toux 2, Alejandro Moreno 5) 93+
Philadelphia Union (2-5-1) -- Chris Seitz; Cristian Arrieta, Danny Califf, Michael Orozco, Jordan Harvey; Shea Salinas (Roger Torres 62), Fred (Danny Mwanga 54), Stefani Miglioranzi, Kyle Nakazawa; Sebastien Le Toux, Alejandro Moreno
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Jacobson, Shavar Thomas, Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo, Brad Knighton
Shots: 14; SOG: 8; Fouls: 14; Corner kicks: 4; Offsides: 2; Saves: 1
Houston Dynamo (5-5-1) -- Pat Onstad; Richard Mulrooney, Bobby Boswell, Eddie Robinson (Ryan Cochrane 76), Mike Chabala (Andrew Hainault 45);Danny Cruz, Brad Davis, Lovel Palmer, Brian Mullan; Dominic Oduro, Luis Landin (Brian Ching 46)
Substitutes Not Used: Corey Ashe, Joseph Ngwenya, Cam Weaver, Tally Hall
Shots: 8; SOG: 3; Fouls: 10; Corner kicks: 7; Offsides: 5; Saves: 5
PHI -- Jordan Harvey (caution; Reckless Foul) 23
PHI -- Kyle Nakazawa (caution; Reckless Foul) 42
PHI -- Cristian Arrieta (caution; Tactical Foul) 51
PHI -- Stefani Miglioranzi (caution; Reckless Foul) 58
HOU -- Brian Mullan (caution; Reckless Foul) 79
Referee: Steven DePiero
Referee's Assistants: Philippe Briere; Jason Cullum
4th Official: Jeff Gontarek
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-88-degrees