October 12, 2013
Draw with DC United drops Union to 6th place
WASHINGTON, DC—Jack McInerney snapped his scoring drought with a dramatic 90th-minute equalizer, but in the end, the Philadelphia Union’s 1-1 draw with DC United at RFK Stadium on Saturday was not enough to keep them above the red line in the MLS East.
|Jack McInerney’s 90th-minute equalizer against DC United on Saturday was his first goal since June 1.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The result, combined with Chicago’s 3-2 win over FC Dallas, dropped the Union (12-10-10) to sixth place in the conference, tied on points with both the Fire and fourth-place Montreal, but behind them on the total-wins tiebreaker.
DC, trying to avoid becoming the first team in MLS history to complete a season with only three wins, kept the Union on their heels for much of the match. Sharp goalkeeping from Zac MacMath and a couple of squandered DC chances kept Philadelphia within striking distance until McInerney could counter a 36th-minute strike from Nick De Leon. DC goalkeeper Bill Hamid blocked the Union forward’s initial attempt, but Kleberson sent the ball back into the goal area, where McInerney headed it home from just outside the six-yard box for his first goal since June 1.
McInerney stripped his jersey off and streaked toward the home plate corner of RFK Stadium to celebrate in front of a section of a couple hundred Union supporters, tucked in a section just under the upper deck and the now-vacant baseball press box.
D.C. created a handful of early chances, beginning in the 12th minute when Chris Pontius curled a looping cross toward Luis Silva on the back post, which Union defender Raymon Gaddis headed clear.
In the 20th minute, Silva got free just outside the area, but fired a firm roller wide of the right post. And Jared Jeffrey bounced a one-time shot over the goal in the 24th minute after Dennis Iapichino sprung Pontius free on the left with a first-touch flick-on before Pontius dragged a cross back into Jeffrey’s path.
But it took DeLeon’s outstanding individual effort to give D.C. the lead after he reached Lewis Neal’s pass from deeper in midfield. DeLeon had room to take a few touches forward before unleashing a swerving shot that found the top left corner and gave MacMath little chance.
Philadelphia’s best chance of the half came a moment after, when Hamid did well to save and hold Conor Casey’s close-range effort. And then a minute later back on the other end, Conor Doyle nearly made it 2-0 when his effort from the edge of the 18 struck the right post.
In the 43rd minute, Kleberson curled a free kick from about 22 yards away just wide of the right post, and in first-half stoppage time, Silva somehow failed to hit the target after reaching Chris Korb’s cross in the center of the 18.
United continued to apply pressure in the second half, with MacMath forced into an early reflex save before Doyle struck a shot that deflected wide of the left post for a corner.
Michael Farfan shot high from distance in the 59th minute during one of Philadelphia’s rare forays forward early in the second half. The Union began to get more possession for a short period, but by sending men forward they eventually became exposed on the counterattack.
Porter had one such chance in the 75th minute when he got free down the right, but MacMath reacted well to block Porter’s low driven effort.
Then a few minutes after Farfan’s late challenge on Korb nearly led to an on-field skirmish, Doyle outraced MacMath and it looked surely like United would go up 2-0. But Chris Pontius fired the shot well over the bar, failing to spot a wide-open Kyle Porter to his left in the process.
DC Soccer News Contributor Ian Quillen contributed reporting to this story.