Chester, Pa. (October 2, 2010) – Sebastien Le Toux moved into a tie for second place in the Golden Boot race, equalizing for Philadelphia Union in the 40th minute to erase an early goal from Houston Dynamo defender Andrew Hainault in a 1-1 draw at PPL Park Saturday.
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
While the Union controlled the majority of possession in the first 10 minutes, Houston capitalized first in the 12th minute. After Brad Davis’ corner kick was deflected back to him, the midfielder took two touches to the edge of the area and rifled a shot on goal that Brad Knighton was only able to deflect straight back into the box. With the Union’s ‘keeper was on the ground, defender Hainault charged the loose ball and blasted a one-timer into the top right corner to give Houston a 1-0 lead.
The Union appeared to have a chance to equalize in the 34th minute after Le Toux was pulled down at the edge of area by Adrian Serioux, but the referee decided against blowing the whistle for a penalty kick.
Le Toux would get his chance six minutes later, and he took full advantage. After Roger Torres received the ball at midfield, the 19-year-old midfielder dribbled into Houston’s territory while holding off Brad Davis, eventually finding space to loft a perfectly-placed service to a streaking Le Toux. The Union’s leading scorer masterfully took the ball down with his left foot with defender Ryan Cochrane on his back, before using his right to beat goalkeeper Pat Onstad to tie the match at one goal apiece in the 40th minute.
Houston had an opportunity early in the second half when Lovel Palmer pushed a pass through the middle of the field to Corey Ashe on the right, but the midfielder's blast from distance was smothered by a diving Knighton to preserve the 1-1 draw.
The best chance midway through the second half came when Palmer had the ball at his feet with seemingly no defenders between him and the goal, but Michael Orozco Fiscal came flying in at an angle to make a sliding tackle in the area, getting the ball first to avoid being called for a penalty kick.
Houston had one final opportunity to steal three points on the road when Ashe served a ball from the left to Cam Weaver in the middle of the box, but the second half substitute sent a header off the top of the crossbar just over Knighton's fingertips in the 91st minute.
The result of the match had no bearing on the playoff race, as the Union were mathematically eliminated before the final whistle even sounded. Seattle 3-2 victory over Toronto put the postseason out of reach for Peter Nowak’s side, who are now 5-2-6 at home on the season and 4-2-5 at PPL Park. Philadelphia have yet another short turnaround following the draw, hosting David Beckham, Landon Donovan and the LA Galaxy Thursday at PPL Park.
HOU – Andrew Hainault 1 (Unassisted) 12’
PHI – Sebastien Le Toux 13 (Roger Torres 5) 40’
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Andrew Hainault, Richard Mulrooney, Adrian Serioux, Ryan Cochrane, Brad Davis (Danny Cruz 74), Corey Ashe, Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron, Brian Ching, Dominic Oduro (Cam Weaver 78).
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Boswell, Mike Chabala, Joseph Ngwenya, Eddie Robinson, Tyler Deric.
TOTAL SHOTS: 16; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 11; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 13; SAVES: 2
Philadelphia Union -- Brad Knighton, Jordan Harvey (Jack McInerney 83), Juan Diego Gonzalez, Sheanon Williams, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Kyle Nakazawa, Andrew Jacobson, Sebastien Le Toux, Roger Torres (Shea Salinas 76), Nick Zimmerman (Danny Mwanga 59), Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: J.T. Noone, Amobi Okugo, Toni Stahl, Chris Seitz.
TOTAL SHOTS: 7; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 12; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4
PHI -- Jordan Harvey (caution; Tactical Foul) 38
HOU -- Brad Davis (caution; Tactical Foul) 58
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: Joe Fletcher, Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Abiodun Okulaja
Time of Game: 1:54
Weather: Clear and 70 degrees