Sunday, August 07, 2011

Union settle for 1-1 draw with Dynamo

Chester, Pa. (August 6, 2011)— Behind an early goal from Jack McInerney, the Philadelphia Union moved within a point of first place in the Eastern Conference with a 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo in front of a sellout crowd of 18,524 at PPL Park. The Union won't be satisfied with the result, though, as they led until Geoff Cameron struck from distance in the 84th minute.

Coming off their only home loss of the season, the Union (8-5-9) got out to a first half lead on the visiting Dynamo (6-7-10). McInerney scored a 15th minute goal following a give-and-go combination with Sebastien Le Toux, who registered his eighth assist of the season, tied for second in MLS.

In the 18th minute, McInerney appeared to give the Union a second goal on a counter attack when Sheanon Williams, who returned from a one-game suspension, found him cutting into the area through the middle of the Houston defense. But the offside flag was raised as McInerney was a half-step off.

In the latter stages of the first half, Houston began to pressure the Philadelphia backline as Corey Ashe and Colin Clark had scoring opportunities for the visitors. From 25 yards out, Ashe just missed the net wide to the right of Faryd Mondragon before Clark had the best chance of the half for the Dynamo.  After beating Gabe Farfan off a ball from Davis, Clark cut towards the middle of the box and drilled a shot over the bar while falling away from target to his left.

Though they held the Dynamo without a shot on goal in the first half, defenders Carlos Valdes, Williams, and then Danny Califf were all visited by the Union training staff during the opening 45.  Despite a cut above his eye, Califf, who scored the game winner in the Union’s season-opening victory over the Dynamo in Houston, was able to remain on.

The Union had the first opportunity of the second half as second-half substitutes Michael Farfan and Danny Mwanga broke on a counter after a Houston turnover in the center circle.  Mwanga worked free on the right and unleashed a low shot on frame but Hall was well positioned to make the stop.

Still looking for the equalizer, Houston began to pin the Union back in their defensive third but the determined backline held and Philadelphia began to push forward once again in the 64th.  M. Farfan sent McInerney towards the right end line after winning a ball in the midfield.  McInerney was able to work the ball across the box, but an alert Hall was quick off his line to smother.

Off the counter attack in the 84th, Sebastien Le Toux nearly doubled the Philadelphia advantage, cutting in on a break behind the Houston defense.  In front of Hall, Le Toux slotted a shot off the post, finding the frame for the fifth time this season.

Just a minute after at the other end, Geoff Cameron found a late equalizer for the Dynamo, who had controlled possession for much of the match.  From outside the area, Cameron kissed a strike off the inside of the right post and into the netting to level the match 1-1.

With the draw, the Union move to 5-1-5 at PPL Park and 7-0-4 when scoring the first goal of a match.

The Union remain home to host Western-Conference power FC Dallas next Saturday at 8:00pm on 6abc. Philadelphia fell at Dallas 2-0 on May 14.

Scoring Summary:
PHI -- Jack McInerney 1 (Sebastien Le Toux 8) 15 HOU -- Geoff Cameron 4 (unassisted) 84

Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Hunter Freeman (Jermaine Taylor 68), Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Corey Ashe, Colin Clark (Je-Vaughn Watson 62), Adam Moffat, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis, Brian Ching, Cam Weaver (Carlo Costly 61).
Substitutes Not Used: Jason Garey, Eddie Robinson, Kofi Sarkodie, Tyler Deric.

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Geoff Cameron 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Geoff Cameron 2); FOULS: 20 (Brad Davis 3); OFFSIDES: 5 (Brian Ching 3); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Brad Davis 2); SAVES: 3 (Tally Hall 3)

Philadelphia Union -- Faryd Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan, Justin Mapp (Michael Farfan 46), Roger Torres (Danny Mwanga 46), Brian Carroll, Sebastien Le Toux, Jack McInerney (Stefani Miglioranzi 66), Veljko Paunovic.

Substitutes Not Used: Keon Daniel, Kyle Nakazawa, Amobi Okugo, Zac MacMath.

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Sebastien Le Toux 2, Jack McInerney 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (4 tied with 1); FOULS: 10 (Jack McInerney 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (3 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Sebastien Le Toux 3); SAVES: 1 (Faryd Mondragon 1)

Misconduct Summary:
HOU -- Bobby Boswell (caution; Reckless Foul) 78
PHI -- Carlos Valdes (caution; Reckless Foul) 83

Referee: Terry Vaughn
Referee's Assistants: -Peter Manikowski; Chris Strickland 4th Official: Ismail Elfath
Attendance: 18,524
Time of Game: 1:49
Weather: Cloudy-and-77-degrees

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