Chester, Pa. (August 5, 2010) – In what has become a familiar story for the expansion club, the Philadelphia Union (4-9-3) outplayed the Columbus Crew (11-4-4) in the run of play Thursday only to fall 2-1. First half substitute Steven Lenhart netted a brace for Columbus on two headers, one assisted by Guillermo Barros Schelotto and the other by Emilio Renteria. Sebastien Le Toux converted a penalty kick for his ninth goal of the season right before the half to equalize, but it wasn't enough on a hot and humid night at PPL Park.
The Union looked like they'd have a golden opportunity to get on the board first in the 10th minute when recent signee and first-time starter Justin Mapp slid a through ball to Le Toux in the box, but the Frenchman was whistled offside by a narrow margin.
In the 20th minute, former Crew member Alejandro Moreno had two chances to score his first goal of the season after Le Toux laid the ball off in the area, but the first attempt was deflected and Moreno wasn’t able to recover in time to get a second shot off before the ball was cleared.
Columbus’ first real chance came in the 32nd minute when Renteria had a go from 25 yards out, but Union goalkeeper Chris Seitz was able to deflect it away for a corner.
In the 34th minute, Mapp blasted a shot from 30 yards out with his left foot, but Hesmer didn’t appear to have much trouble diving to his right and snatching the attempt out of mid-air.
Despite chasing the ball throughout the first half, Columbus struck first in the 43rd minute off a free kick following a yellow card by Fred. Barros Schelotto sent a bending ball into the middle of the box, and Lenhart was able to get just enough of a touch to redirect it through the legs of Seitz from the edge of the six-yard box to put the Crew up 1-0.
In first half stoppage time, Kyle Nakazawa’s targeted free kick from 25 yards out to the right of the area was nearly knocked home by Fred, but the Brazilian wasn’t able to get his foot on it for an equalizer.
Union fans barely had time to be disappointed, however, as Le Toux was taken down in the area for a penalty during the ensuing scramble. Le Toux stepped to the spot and calmly passed Columbus goalkeeper Will Hesmer to tie the score at one goal apiece.
The Crew came out in the second half with far more possession, quickly converting a go-ahead opportunity in the 51st minute. Following a precision cross from the right flank by Renteria, Lenhart’s diving header gave Columbus a 2-1 lead.
The Union had two chances to equalize shortly after the game-winning goal, first after Cristian Arrieta’s long through ball nearly found Le Toux all alone in front of Hesmer, but the connection was just out of the All-Star's reach in the 59th minute.
Then in the 64th, Mapp sent a cross from the right flank to Le Toux in the middle of the box, but the service came off the top of his head and went well over the bar.
The Union had another chance in the 80th minute when Nakazawa sent a dangerous free kick into a crowded box, but the cross found its way through several onrushing Union players for a goal kick.
Philadelphia’s best and final opportunity of the second half came in the 84th minute, when Andrew Jacobson received a pass to the left of the goal just 10 yards away. The midfielder sent a low cross through the area to Le Toux, whose redirection to the far post was knocked aside by Hesmer. Late substitute Jack McInerney looked as though he had an opportunity to knock in the rebound, but the ball rolled just past the far post before the rookie could get a touch for a game-tying, tap-in goal.
The Union will turn around quickly and head to Dallas for a match on Sunday, followed by another home game at PPL Park on Wednesday, August 11 vs Real Salt Lake.
CLB - Steven Lenhart 3 (Guillermo Barros Schelotto 7) 43'
PHI - Sebastien Le Toux 9 (Unassisted) 48+
CLB - Steven Lenhart 4 (Emilio Renteria) 51'
CLB -- Brian Carroll (caution; Reckless Foul) 37'
CLB -- Frankie Hejduk (caution; Reckless Foul) 46'
PHI -- Fred (caution; Reckless Foul) 42'
Columbus Crew -- William Hesmer, Danny O'Rourke, Chad Marshall, Andy Iro, Emmanuel Ekpo (Leandre Griffit 83), Shaun Francis, Brian Carroll, Frankie Hejduk, Emilio Renteria (Duncan Oughton 73), Jason Garey (Steven Lenhart 27), Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 12; OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 2
Philadelphia Union -- Chris Seitz, Cristian Arrieta, Danny Califf, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Jordan Harvey, Fred (Andrew Jacobson 77), Eduardo Coudet, Stefani Miglioranzi (Kyle Nakazawa 40), Justin Mapp (Jack McInerney 82), Alejandro Moreno, Sebastien Le Toux.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 13; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: Paul Scott; Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Abiodun Okulaja
Time of Game: 1:53