COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - Danny Mwanga’s equalizing goal in the 66th minute salvaged a crucial road point and condemned the Colorado Rapids to another frustrating draw in a 1-1 deadlock on Saturday night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
The second-half substitute Mwanga shot from just outside the penalty area from an assist by Sebastien Le Toux and, although Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens got his hands on the shot, he couldn't steer it clear of the corner of the net. The Union (6-3-3) held onto the top spot in the Eastern Conference with the draw, extending their unbeaten steak to three games in the process.
The goal came just three minutes after Colorado took the lead through a penalty kick by Conor Casey. Casey scored his second of the season with a deft lob that wrong footed Faryd Mondragón in the Union goal after Pablo Mastroeni was taken down by Union defender Danny Califf in the box.
The draw was the sixth in a row for Colorado (4-3-7), setting a new MLS record.
Philadelphia arguably looked the stronger of the two sides in the opening exchanges with midfielder Justin Mapp looking particularly dangerous. It was his good play in the 11th minute that led to a well taken free kick by Kyle Nakazawa which Pickens did well to save.
Mapp’s substitution in the 25th minute, along with a strong header from Andre Akpan a few minutes earlier, appeared to spark the Rapids a little, and they enjoyed the bulk of possession and chances for the rest of the first half.
Colorado defender Drew Moor, who also had an excellent headed chance late on, went very close with a header in the 39th minute after Casey did well to retrieve a ball that appeared to be going out. A few minutes later, Akpan had another strong header but it was just too high. Casey also went close with a late first half header from a cross by Anthony Wallace that was slightly too high for the big striker.
Perhaps the best chance in the whole game, however, fell to Union substitute Keon Daniel, who had a clear sighting of goal close in in the 53rd minute after a very well put together string of passes by Philadelphia. Daniel could only sky over from just a few yards out.
COL -- Conor Casey 2 (penalty kick) 63
PHI -- Danny Mwanga 4 (Sebastien Le Toux 4) 66
Philadelphia Union -- Faryd Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Jordan Harvey, Kyle Nakazawa, Gabriel Farfan, Brian Carroll, Justin Mapp (Keon Daniel 25) (Stefani Miglioranzi 79), Sebastien Le Toux, Jack McInerney (Danny Mwanga 58).
Substitutes Not Used: Juan Diego Gonzalez, Zach Pfeffer, Roger Torres, Zac MacMath.
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Danny Mwanga 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Danny Mwanga 1, Kyle Nakazawa 1); FOULS: 17 (Gabriel Farfan 6); OFFSIDES: 1 (Danny Mwanga 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Sebastien Le Toux 2); SAVES: 2 (Faryd Mondragon 2)
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura (Scott Palguta 77), Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Anthony Wallace, Jamie Smith, Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson, Andre Akpan (Quincy Amarikwa 46), Conor Casey (Caleb Folan 73).
Substitutes Not Used: Danny Earls, Mike Holody, Ross LaBauex, Steward Ceus.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (3 tied with 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 12 (Pablo Mastroeni 3); OFFSIDES: 6 (Quincy Amarikwa 3); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Jamie Smith 4); SAVES: 1 (Matt Pickens 1)
COL -- Anthony Wallace (caution; Tactical Foul) 26
Referee: Jasen Anno
Referee's Assistants: -Greg Barkey; Mike Kampmeinert
4th Official: Armando Villarreal
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-77-degrees