CHESTER, Pa. – Sebastien Le Toux scored his second goal of the game in the 92nd minute to cap a remarkable second-half comeback as the Philadelphia Union erased a three-goal halftime deficit en route to a 4-4 draw with the New England Revolution on Wednesday night at PPL Park.
It marked the third straight game in which the Revolution (4-11-12, 24 pts.) conceded the game-tying goal after the 85th minute and extended the club’s winless run to seven games (0-2-5). The Union (8-7-11, 35 pts.) is also now winless in its last seven games (0-3-4), but Philadelphia clawed back for a crucial point as it clings to one of Major League Soccer’s final wildcard playoff spots.
Rookie defender A.J. Soares scored his first MLS goal to give the Revs an early lead in the ninth minute, while additional strikes from Rajko Lekic, Monsef Zerka and Benny Feilhaber helped stake New England to a 4-1 halftime lead. It was just the fifth time in club history the Revs scored four goals in one half, while it marked their best scoring output of the 2011 season.
Freddy Adu pulled a goal back for Philadelphia in the 54th minute to give the home side hope, while Le Toux struck twice – in the 79th and 92nd minutes – to provide the final 4-4 score line. Roger Torres scored the Union’s lone first-half goal in the 28th minute.
Wednesday night’s game ended the Revolution’s club-record 17-day hiatus, brought about when the originally scheduled Aug. 28 meeting between the Revs and Union was postponed because of Hurricane Irene.
Head coach Steve Nicol made three changes to the Revolution lineup which played to a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls back on Aug. 20, including handing a debut start to Zerka, who began the match on the right wing. Veteran goalkeeper Matt Reis returned from suspension to take his usual spot between the pipes, while Chris Tierney recovered from a left foot sprain to take over at left midfield.
Zerka made an instant impact for the Revolution, winning the free kick which led to the opening goal in the ninth minute. From the right corner, Tierney whipped a vicious cross into the box, where Soares arrived unmarked at the six-yard box to power a header past helpless Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath – making his first career start – and give the Revs a 1-0 lead for the ninth time in their last 11 games.
That lead was doubled to 2-0 in the 21st minute when Lekic notched his fifth goal of the season from the penalty spot. Zerka was again involved as he delivered a throw-in to Lekic in the corner of the box, where the Danish striker was immediately fouled by Stefani Miglioranzi. After drawing the foul, Lekic stepped up to convert the penalty kick himself with a delicate chip down the middle.
After helping set up the first two goals, Zerka put his own name on the score sheet with a well-placed header in the 25th minute. Tierney was again the provider from the left wing, his curling cross finding Zerka alone at the back post. The Moroccan stooped to meet the cross and angled a header inside the right post as New England went ahead 3-0.
Philadelphia pulled a goal back almost immediately as Torres cut the deficit to 3-1 in the 28th minute. After receiving a short pass from Sheanon Williams at the top of the box, Torres turned and nestled a curling shot into the upper left corner.
The Revolution’s three-goal lead was restored in the 33rd minute, however, as Feilhaber rifled home his third goal of the season to stake the Revs to a 4-1 advantage. Lekic teed up Feilhaber for the drive and the U.S. National Team midfielder made no mistake with a blistering shot into the lower left corner.
The Union began the second half looking for a route back into the game and found a lifeline in the 54th minute when Adu pulled the hosts to within 4-2. Danny Mwanga held the ball at the top of the box before leading Adu into the left side, where the 22-year-old slotted a low shot past Reis for his first goal since returning to MLS.
Philly continued to press and notched a third goal in the 79th minute when Le Toux converted from the spot. Second-half substitute Pat Phelan was whistled for the foul as he challenged Le Toux for a header at the back post, and the Frenchman stepped up to drill a shot into the lower left corner to draw the Union within a goal at 4-3.
Le Toux completed the comeback in the second minute of stoppage time, taking advantage of the shorthanded Revs as they played down a man following an injury to Phelan. Carlos Valdes looped the ball into the box and Veljko Paunovic settled it for Le Toux, who used his first touch to blast a low shot into the back of the net from 12 yards out.
The Revs will return home for their next match, a meeting with FC Dallas on Saturday, Sept. 10. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.
New England Revolution at Philadelphia Union
September 7, 2011 – PPL Park (Chester, Pa.)
New England Revolution 4, Philadelphia Union 4
NE – A.J. Soares (Chris Tierney) 9
NE – Rajko Lekic (penalty kick) 21
NE – Monsef Zerka (Chris Tierney) 25
PHI – Roger Torres (Sheanon Williams) 28
NE – Benny Feilhaber (Rajko Lekic) 33
PHI – Freddy Adu (Danny Mwanga) 54
PHI – Sebastien Le Toux (penalty kick) 79
PHI – Sebastien Le Toux (Veljko Paunovic) 92+
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane (Franco Coria 74), Kevin Alston, Chris Tierney, Shalrie Joseph ©, Benny Feilhaber, Monsef Zerka (Ryan Guy 64), Rajko Lekic (Pat Phelan 58), Milton Caraglio
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Kheli Dube, Diego Fagundez, Zack Schilawski
STATS*: Shots: 7; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 7; Corner Kicks: 3; Offside: 4; Fouls Committed:17
Philadelphia Union: Zac MacMath, Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf ©, Gabriel Farfan (Michael Farfan 46), Stefani Miglioranzi (Danny Mwanga 46), Brian Carroll, Freddy Adu, Roger Torres (Justin Mapp 72) Veljko Paunovic, Sebastien Le Toux
Substitutes Not Used: Thome Holder, Kyle Nakazawa, Amobi Okugo, Jack McInerney
STATS*: Shots: 24; Shots on Goal: 11; Saves: 0; Corner Kicks: 9; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 16
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
NE – Shalrie Joseph (caution) 36
NE – Milton Caraglio (caution) 71
PHI – Freddy Adu (caution) 76
NE – Benny Feilhaber (caution) 97+
New England Revolution – 4-11-12, 24 pts.
Philadelphia Union: 8-7-11, 35 pts.
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Assistant Referees: Greg Barkey, Craig Lowry
Fourth Official: Andrew Chapin
Weather: Partly cloudy, 71 degrees
- Tonight’s four goals are the most scored by the team in one game in the 2011 season … the total is also the team’s highest goal total since a 4-1 win at home against Toronto on April 10, 2010
- Tonight’s goal total marked the team’s seventh multiple-goal game this season and its second in a row (2-2 draw vs. New York on Aug. 20) … the Revs have recorded four of those multiple-goal games in their last seven contests
- The team’s four goals in the first half tied the club record for goals scored in one half … with tonight’s occurrence, it’s happened five times … last time the Revs scored four goals in a half was April 10, 2010 in a 4-1 home win over Toronto FC … in that game, all four goals came in the second half, through Zack Schilawski (three goals) and Sainey Nyassi
- Last time the Revolution scored four goals on the road was Sept. 17, 2005 in a 5-4 loss in New York against the MetroStars
- The four road goals also tied the club’s record for road goals scored, matching a feat the team recorded three previous times: Sept. 17, 2005 at New York (5-4 loss), April 23, 2005 at D.C. (4-3 win) and October 4, 2003 at Dallas (4-1 win)
- With the draw, the Revs moved to 0-2-2 all-time against Philly
- The Revs are now 0-0-2 against the Union at PPL Park … both of New England’s losses to Philly have come at home at Gillette Stadium
- The draw extended the team’s winless streak to seven matches, dating back to July 23 and a 2-2 draw at Colorado … the Revs have gone 0-2-5 in that span
- With his appearance tonight, Matt Reis made his 250th career appearance in MLS … he is now tied for fifth among all MLS goalkeepers in appearances, sharing the fifth spot with former MLS legend Tony Meola
- Monsef Zerka made his MLS and Revs debut with his start tonight … he officially was added to the Revs’ roster on Friday, Aug. 26 after landing in the U.S. late on Thursday, Aug. 25
- Tonight’s game marked the first appearance in the team’s 18-man squad for Kheli Dube since June 10 at New York … on May 22, he was in a car accident and suffered from whiplash as a result of the crash … while symptoms dissipated the first week of June, he missed the next three months of action (June-present) while continuing to recover … his first action back was a 45-minute appearance in a reserve match against Toronto at Gillette Stadium
- Kenny Mansally was unavailable for tonight’s match while serving a one-game red-card suspension after being shown a pair of yellows on Aug. 20 against New York … he traveled with the team – after arriving back in the U.S. on Monday from his time with Gambia for its 1-0 loss at Namibia in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying – and will be available for Thursday’s reserve league match between the teams
- The Revs scored first goal for the ninth time in the last 11 games
- A.J. Soares scored his first career MLS goal with his ninth-minute header from Chris Tierney’s free kick
- A.J. Soares is the team’s second defender to score a goal this year after Ryan Cochrane notched a goal on Aug. 17 against Houston
- Chris Tierney recorded his third and fourth assists of the season with helpers on A.J.Soares’ and Monsef Zerka’s first-half goals … the two assists were Tierney’s 10th and 11th-career assists and moved him into the team’s lead in the category … it was also his first-career two-assist effort in a game
- Chris Tierney’s four assists so far this season match his previous single-season best of four, which came in 2010 in 27 matches
- Rajko Lekic’s successful penalty kick in the 21st minute was his second (of two) successful penalty kicks this season … he also converted a penalty kick at Real Salt Lake on July 4.
- Rajko Lekic’s penalty kick was the team’s seventh awarded penalty kick this season … overall, the Revs are 6-for-7 from the spot this year, with Shalrie Joseph going 4-for-5 and Lekic going 2-for-2
- With Rajko Lekic’s penalty kick, the Revs are now ranked second in MLS in penalty kick goals, one behind leader D.C. United with seven … the team’s seven attempts are also tie for second in the league with Columbus and Seattle
- Monsef Zerka recorded his first MLS goal in the first half in his first-ever MLS appearance
- Tonight’s game marked the sixth straight game in which the Revs scored first but were unable to win the game … the Revs are 0-1-5 in that span … for the fourth time in that run, the Revs surrendered a game-tying (or game-surrendering) goal in the final three minutes of regulation or stoppage time
- The team’s season total of 30 goals is now two shy of the squad’s 32-goal total in 30 games
- Tonight’s match was originally scheduled for Sunday, August 28, but the impending advancement of Hurricane Irene forced the postponement of that match and its re-scheduling for tonight
- As a result of the match’s postponement, New England had a 17-day layoff between matches, the longest-ever stretch in club history without a match during the season, friendlies and in-season tournaments included … the last match the Revs played was a 2-2 draw at home against New York on Saturday, August 20