Reading, Pa. (May 31, 2011) – On a hot and muggy Tuesday night in Reading Pa., the Philadelphia Union played to a 1-1 draw with Reading United AC in front of 1,373 onlookers at Don Thomas Stadium.
Just when it looked like the Union would walk away victorious for the second straight year against their PDL affiliate, Old Dominion University midfielder Chris Harmon struck from distance in second half stoppage time to cancel out a first half goal from Gabriel Farfan, who also scored Philadelphia’s first goal in league action this weekend.
For most of the first half, United were able to contain a Union starting lineup that was unchanged from Saturday’s 6-2 win vs. Toronto FC aside from goalkeeper Zac MacMath starting in place of Faryd Mondragon.
In the 36th minute, the Union had a golden opportunity to tally first. Breaking free along the right flank, defender Sheanon Williams sent in a cross to Danny Mwanga, who guided an uncontested header over the bar.
Reading had a chance of their own to break the deadlock in the 40th minute when University of Pennsylvania product Christian Barreiro laid a through ball off to Sean Peckham, but the midfielder’s cross went through the area untouched.
In the 45th minute, Farfan broke the scoreless draw, heading home a Justin Mapp cross from the left touchline to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead heading into the break.
Wholesale changes in the second half for Philadelphia saw all but Nakazawa and MacMath come off for a lineup featuring first teamers Ryan Richter, Juan Diego Gonzalez, Zach Pfeffer, Roger Torres, Jack McInerney and Chris Agorsor, to go along with academy product Jimmy McLaughlin and Reading United members David Rodriguez and Matt Baker, who switched kits for the evening after featuring for the Union in reserve play this weekend.
In the second half, the Union threatened to double the lead on several occasions, but were unable to finish their chances.
MacMath preserved Philadelphia’s shutout in the 66th minute when he came out to deny Will Bates' breakaway opportunity, but Reading would find their equalizer in the waning moments of the match.
Harmon’s goal, assisted by Steve Neumann, knotted the match at one goal apiece, a result that would stand despite a late chance for Roger Torres, who fired from beyond the area just wide of the far post.
The first place Union will travel to Colorado for an away match against the Rapids on Saturday. The 9:00 p.m. contest will be broadcast on The Comcast Network.
PHI – Gabriel Farfan (Justin Mapp) 45
RU – Chris Harmon (Steve Neumann) 91+