Le Toux’s hat trick propels the Union past D.C. United in front of a raucous Philadelphia crowd.PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- In a stark contrast to its first game, the Philadelphia Union found its offense and treated the Philadelphia faithful to an entertaining, and ultimately fulfilling, 3-2 win over D.C. United in front of 34,870 fans at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Union went up 2-0 in the first-half on goals by Sebastien Le Toux in the fourth minute and 40th minute. Union mistakes allowed United to get back into the match in the second half when Santino Quaranta stole a misplayed Union ball in the midfield and dribbled his way to just outside the 18-yard-box before burying a shot in the bottom right corner. Jaime Moreno tied the score in the 70th minute when a muffed Chris Seitz punt fell to the feet of Moreno, who calmly slotted the ball into the empty net.
Le Toux gave the Philly fans what they came for in the 80th minute when he blasted a 22-yard free kick past Troy Perkins, giving the Union the win in its inaugural home game.
The Union didn’t take long to notch the organization’s first-ever goal when Sebastien Le Toux nodded home a pinpoint cross from Roger Torres in just the fourth minute. Vice President Joe Biden’s presence for pre-game festivities created strict security lines that were enough to keep thousands of Union fans out of the stadium and in the dark in the opening minutes.
The history-making goal stemmed from a Torres free kick that was parried wide by Troy Perkins but not out of bounds. Alejandro Moreno collected the ball near the end line and found Torres’ feet, where the 18-year-old sent a bending cross into the six-yard-box and found Le Toux unmarked for an easy header, creating the perfect start for the home opener.
Philadephia struck again in the 40th minute on a brilliant combination between the two Union forwards. Moreno gathered the ball at midfield on the left sideline and sent a 30-yard screamer through the United defense to a streaking Le Toux, where the French striker, all alone in on Perkins, calmly slotted home his second of the day.
Le Toux nearly had his hat trick in the 53rd minute when he found himself once again behind the back line of the United defense, but this time Perkins came up big and stuffed the attempt.
United made it a game in the 63rd when Quaranta corralled a Union turnover in the midfield and took on two Union defenders, cutting across the 18-yard-box and burying a left-footed into the bottom corner past Chris Seitz, cutting the lead to 2-1.
Just seven minutes later, United capitalized on another Union mistake and tied the score at 2-2. Jaime Moreno controlled Seitz’ muffed punt and simply passed the ball into an empty net, leaving the normally raucous Philadelphia watching in stunned silence.
But the the silence became a deafening roar in the 80th minute when the Union went up on United for the final time. Alejandro Moreno was ripped down by United defender Dejan Jakovic 22 yards from goal. The Canadian was given a straight red card. Le Toux lined up over the free kick and buried his third goal of the night into the bottom left corner, giving the Union a win in its inaugural home match.
The one melancholy note to the day for Philadelphia was that Union coach Peter Nowak, who is Polish, did not appear on the sidelines of the match or speak to the media at the match, out of respect to the tragic plane crash in Russia that killed Poland's president.
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