Chester, Pa. (August 14, 2010) – After falling behind 1-0 in the second half, Philadelphia Union managed to equalize off of Danny Mwanga’s seventh goal of the season in the 73rd minute, earning a 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids. Jeff Larentowicz’s strike from distance put the Rapids up in the 59th minute, but the dynamic combination of Mwanga and Sebastien Le Toux helped Philadelphia find a result in front of 17,749 fans at PPL Park Saturday.
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The Union came out controlling the tempo early, but promising crosses within the first seven minutes targeted for Mwanga in the area were unsuccessful.
Colorado had a chance of their own in the sixth minute after Union goalkeeper Chris Seitz came off his line to punch away a cross. The clearance came to midfielder Jamie Smith, but the 29-year-old was unable to capitalize with an open net in front of him momentarily.
With the Union dominating possession in the early going, the PPL Park crowd thought the home side had struck first in the 16th minute when Alejandro Moreno finished a cross from Eduardo Coudet, but the veteran forward was ruled offside. Moreno had another chance to finish on an attempt from the top of the area in the 19th minute following a nifty move from Fred in the middle of the field, but the shot was blasted well over the bar and into the River End.
Philadelphia’s best chance to get on the board in the first half came when Moreno found the ball at his feet in space 14 yards from goal, unleashing a blast that hit off the near post and ricocheted to Fred, who then fired the rebound over the bar in the 32nd minute.
The Union had one final opportunity in the first half when Le Toux received a pass from Mwanga at the top of the box, but the Frenchman’s low, left-footed shot went just wide. The Union’s leading scorer had another chance right after the half in the 49th minute, but his shot from just outside the area missed the far post.
Despite struggling to create many chances, Colorado were able to convert first in the 59th minute. After Seitz punched a cross in the air, it was deflected to the feet of Larentowicz, who snuck a 22 yard shot within the far post to give Colorado a 1-0 lead and keep the Union’s shutout-less streak alive.
Looking for an equalizer, Le Toux and Mwanga combined to level the score in the 73rd minute. Taking a precise, long-distance service from Danny Califf in the area, Le Toux dribbled the ball to his left before turning and finding a streaking Mwanga in front of the goal. Mwanga took a touch away from defender Julien Baudet before slipping the ball past goalkeeper Matt Pickens with his right foot.
Philadelphia had two opportunities to find a go-ahead goal in stoppage time, but there was no call when Le Toux was taken down in the area in the 92nd minute, and Michael Orozco Fiscal’s apparent goal was waived off due to an offside call.
The Union will head on the road for two matches, beginning with a showdown against D.C. United at RFK Stadium Sunday. Colorado will be away from Dick's Sporting Goods Park again next week, going to Columbus for a Saturday showdown against the Eastern Conference leading Crew.
COL – Jeff Larentowicz 2 (Unassisted) 59’
PHI – Danny Mwanga 7 (Sebastien Le Toux 9) 73’
COL -- Jeff Larentowicz (caution; Reckless Tackle) 20
COL -- Omar Cummings (caution; Reckless Tackle) 66
COL -- Matt Pickens (caution; Delaying a Restart) 71
COL -- Jamie Smith (caution; Reckless Tackle) 85
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Marvell Wynne, Julien Baudet, Drew Moor,Kosuke Kimura, Wells Thompson (Conor Casey 61), Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Jamie Smith, Omar Cummings, Quincy Amarikwa (Mehdi Ballouchy46)
Substitutes Not Used: Danny Earls, Ross LaBauex, Claudio Lopez, Anthony Wallace, Ian Joyce
TOTAL SHOTS: 7; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; FOULS: 17; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 1; SAVES: 2
Philadelphia Union -- Chris Seitz, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Danny Califf, Juan Diego Gonzalez, Jordan Harvey, Sebastien Le Toux, Fred (Jack McInerney 86), Eduardo Coudet (Roger Torres 63), Stefani Miglioranzi, Alejandro Moreno (Justin Mapp 60), Danny Mwanga
Substitutes Not Used: Cristian Arrieta, Kyle Nakazawa, Amobi Okugo, Brad Knighton
TOTAL SHOTS: 13; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 16; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey; Corey Rockwell
4th Official: Lee Suckle
Time of Game: 1:52