Friday, November 04, 2011

Union season done after 1-0 setback in Hoston

HOUSTON – The Union accomplished their goal of making the MLS Cup Playoffs, but the club's playoff run was cut short on Thursday in Houston. Philadelphia fell 1-0 in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Robertson Stadium, equating to a 3-1 aggregate defeat.

Forward Brian Ching struck the lone goal to give Houston the win and seal their passage to the Conference Championship for the fourth time in six years.

In a game that lacked the quality and quantity of chances of the first leg, it was a familiar script that resulted in Ching’s goal and Houston’s win. As first-half stoppage time ticked away, Houston’s Brad Davis whipped in a free kick from the right side that was met by an onrushing Ching, who smacked his header in at the near post.

Houston coach Dominic Kinnear stuck with the same starting XI that earned the victory in Philadelphia, while Union manager Peter Nowak came out in a revamped lineup. Left out of the lineup was regular starter Justin Mapp, and inserted were teenaged striker Jack McInerney and recently recovered attacking midfielder Veljko Paunovic.

The Union made a rare triple substitution in the 66th minute bringing on Mapp, Freddy Adu, and Roger Torres. The changes provided a spark for the Union attack, but they were ultimately unable to equalize.

The loss ends a successful sophomore season for the Union. The club finished third in the Eastern Conference and made their debut playoff appearance.

Scoring Summary:

HOU -- Brian Ching 1 (Brad Davis 2) 48+

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

Substitutes Not Used: Stefani Miglioranzi, Kyle Nakazawa, Amobi Okugo, Zac MacMath.

Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall, Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe, Danny Cruz (Je-Vaughn Watson 57), Luiz Camargo, Adam Moffat, Brad Davis, Brian Ching (Carlo Costly 81), Calen Carr (Will Bruin 89).

Substitutes Not Used: Alex Dixon, Hunter Freeman, Jermaine Taylor, Tyler Deric.

Misconduct Summary:

PHI -- Carlos Valdes (caution; Reckless Tackle) 30

PHI -- Gabriel Farfan (caution; Reckless Foul) 51

HOU -- Calen Carr (caution; Reckless Foul) 67

Referee: Ricardo Salazar

Referee's Assistants: Craig Lowry; Peter Manikowski

4th Official: Edvin Jurisevic

Time of Game: 1:52

Attendance: 24,749

Weather: Clear-and-58-degrees
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