Sapong vs. Minnesota

CJ Sapong records his 13th goal of the season as Union earn a road point against Minnesota United

Philadelphia Union earned a point on the road Saturday night against new MLS franchise Minnesota United. The Union drew 1-1 with Minnesota in front of a crowd of 22,148 at TCF Bank Stadium, on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

Philadelphia will be back in action on Sunday, Sept. 17 when they travel to New Jersey to take on New York Red Bulls on ESPN.

The Union got the action going early in the match as they controlled the tempo from the minute the whistle blew. Philadelphia’s leading goal-scorer CJ Sapong made his presence felt as he hammered home his 13th goal of the season thanks to a ball sent into the box by Fafa Picault. The goal put Philadelphia ahead of the Loons in the fifth minute of play.

The goal for Sapong increased his career high for goals scored in a season. His 13 goals this season for the Union now leaves him just one shy of tying Sebastien Le Toux for most all-time in a season by a Philadelphia Union player.  Le Toux set the 14 goal mark during the 2010 season.

Moments later, Sapong had an opportunity to put Philadelphia up by two, by the ball sent in by Union midfielder, Ilsinho was just beyond Sapong’s foot leaving the match at 1-0 in favor of Philadelphia.

Just before the first half whistle blew, Minnesota United tied the match. Defender Francisco Calvo created the chance with nifty footwork through the Union defense and into the box.

After his shot attempt was blocked by Philadelphia Goalkeeper Andre Blake, the Loons’ Ethan Finlay pounced on the rebound and found the back of the net to tie the match at one in the 40th minute. Philadelphia entered the locker-room for halftime with the match tied at one.

The fireworks continued in the second half as Oguchi Onyewu was sent off for his second yellow of the match after his hand made contact with the ball in the box off a Minnesota corner kick. Upon video review, it was determined Onyewu was pushed in the back and foul negated the handball.

The Union tried everything in their arsenal to find that second and final goal. Their best opportunity came when Roland Alberg found space in the box and sent a rocket from the far side, but Minnesota Goalkeper Bobby Shuttleworth denied the chance and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Philadelphia will return to action on Sunday, Sept. 17 when they take on Eastern Conference rival  New York Red Bulls on ESPN in New Jersey. Kick-off for that match is set for 1 p.m. 

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