CHESTER, Penn. — Danny Mwanga continued his strong rookie season with a second-half equalizer as the Philadelphia Union and Colorado Rapids drew 1-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Philly-area native Jeff Larentowicz scored for Colorado in his first-ever homecoming.
Nearly 18,000 people at PPL Park took in an exciting game between the expansion Union and the visiting Rapids. Philadelphia, as they have done so many times this season, controlled the possession for much of the first half and pushed Colorado to the limit in the early going.
Fred and Sebastien Le Toux moved the ball well through midfield, but it was Alejandro Moreno who had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes. In the 32nd minute, the Venezuelan forward picked up a deflected Fred shot and fired a hard right-footed shot goalward. The ball beat goalkeeper Matt Pickens but pinged off the outside of the right post.
Other than Moreno’s effort there was very little to speak of for the remainder of the first stanza.
Although Philly continued pushing in the second half, they were undone by an impressive Larentowicz effort in the 59th minute. The West Chester, Pennsylvania, native found himself in space as a miscleared ball bounced toward him about 20 yards out. He put a jolt into his shot, and the ball flew past a diving Chris Seitz. With roughly 100 family and friends on hand, it was surely a special strike for the midfielder.
Philadelphia fought back after the goal and were able to grab the leveler just over 10 minutes later. Charging down a long ball and fighting off Marvell Wynne’s challenge in the Colorado area, Le Toux considered a shot but spun and slid a pass across the area to an on-rushing Mwanga. The 19-year-old striker got position on his defender and slotted the ball through Pickens’ legs for his seventh goal of the season.
The sides battled for the remainder of the match with Philadelphia coming the closest late on, but neither were able to break the deadlock.
Up next for Philadelphia is a trip to the nation’s capital to take on last place D.C. United, while Colorado next face the tougher task of a trip to the Columbus Crew.
COL -- Jeff Larentowicz 2 (unassisted) 59
PHI -- Danny Mwanga 7 (Sebastien Le Toux 9) 73
COL -- Jeff Larentowicz (caution; Reckless Tackle) 20
COL -- Omar Cummings (caution; Reckless Tackle) 66
COL -- Matt Pickens (caution; Delaying a Restart) 71
COL -- Jamie Smith (caution; Reckless Tackle) 85
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Marvell Wynne, Julien Baudet, Drew Moor, Kosuke Kimura, Wells Thompson (Conor Casey 61), Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Jamie Smith, Omar Cummings, Quincy Amarikwa (Mehdi Ballouchy 46)
Substitutes Not Used: Danny Earls, Ross LaBauex, Claudio Lopez, Anthony Wallace, Ian Joyce
Philadelphia Union -- Chris Seitz, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Danny Califf, Juan Diego Gonzalez, Jordan Harvey, Sebastien Le Toux, Fred (Jack McInerney 86), Eduardo Coudet (Roger Torres 63), Stefani Miglioranzi, Alejandro Moreno (Justin Mapp 60), Danny Mwanga
Substitutes Not Used: Cristian Arrieta, Kyle Nakazawa, Amobi Okugo, Brad Knighton
Referee: Terry Vaughn; Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey; Corey Rockwell; 4th Official: Lee Suckle
Time of Game: 1:52