Conor Casey opened the scoring from the penalty spot but Philadelphia quickly answered to grab a point.The Colorado Rapids and the Philadelphia Union played to a 1-1 draw in a match full of drama and excitement that was anything but dull for the passionate fans in Commerce City. The Union, playing their second straight road game, were likely very pleased to leave Dick's Sporting Goods Park with a point.
The defending MLS Cup champions Rapids came out very aggressively in the first half, putting on a dominating effort against Philadelphia. Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens has been solid all season, and showed his prowess in front of the net early in this one with a sensational diving save to block Kyle Nakazawa's free kick attempt from 25 yards out in the 13th minute. This would be Philadelphia's lone shot on goal for the entire first half.
On the other end of the pitch, Philadelphia's veteran goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon made a diving save to deny forward Andre Akpan's attempt in the 22nd minute. Mondragon has let up only nine goals so far this season, undoubtedly making him one of the strongest assets the club has.
Colorado kept the intensity up the entire half. During stoppage time, forward Conor Casey had a great chance, but his header was just wide. By the end of the first half Colorado maintained 60 percent of possession and managed seven shots compared to Philadelphia's three. Colorado looked poised for victory in front of its hometown fans before heading into the locker room.
After being dominated for the first 45 minutes, the Union came out strong in the second half. They looked much sharper, stringing together chances on offense while suppressing Colorado's attack on the other end. In the 53rd minute midfielder Gabriel Farfan set up a beautiful one-timer to Keon Daniel but the young midfielder from Trinidad & Tobago sent the shot sailing over the crossbar.
In the 60th minute Jordan Harvey, likely taking a chance with the thinner air in his former home of Colorado, took a shot from far outside the box but just missed the net. The Union looked sharp until defender Danny Califf committed a foul in the box against Colorado's Pablo Mastroeni in the 62nd minute. Colorado was awarded a penalty kick, which Conor Casey then converted, putting Colorado up 1-0.
Philadelphia answered back shortly thereafter, as Sebastien Le Toux set up 19-year-old forward Danny Mwanga for the equalizing goal in the 66th minute. It was Mwanga's fourth goal of the season, and solidified him as the top scorer of the team.
After the two goals were scored, the teams traded possession and shots for the remainder of the match. In the closing minutes, Mwanga nearly had his second goal of the match after a close-range attempt nearly found the net, but the shot was denied by Colorado's backline. After the final whistle blew, the match ended up in a 1-1 draw.
The 1-1 draw is a result that the Union will likely be happy with, as they go on to play the somewhat struggling Real Salt Lake at home next Saturday. The defending champions will continue to attempt to turn their somewhat disappointing 2011 campaign around when they take on the Portland Timbers on the road next Saturday.
Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!