The Philadelphia Union traveled to Carson, California to take on the Los Angeles Galaxy at the StubHub Center in search for their first win of the season on Saturday night.
Early Action All Around
The early moments of the match were filled with end-to-end action with LA's Emmanuel Boateng testing out Ray Gaddis' one on one defensive ability. While many thought the former starter would be rusty given his time on the bench this and last season, Gaddis appeared up for the challenge, matching Boateng for speed and reading his movement well to stop the cross coming in.
Los Angeles earned the first real chance of the match in the second minute of play when Alejandro Bedoya miss hit a clearance that dropped nicely for Romain Alessandrini who volleyed it right into the grateful arms of Andre Blake.
Another poor clearance saw LA's Giovanni Dos Santos with a chance in front of goal four minutes in but his effort curled wide.
Moments later, Fafa Picault's cross flew past several Union players before Chris Pontius latched onto the loose ball but his curled effort went well wide of goal in the fifth minute, much like Dos Santos' earlier effort.
Chances exchanged goals go missing
Dos Santos was once again the dangerman in the sixth minute as he looked to launch another shot at Andre Blake but a combination of hesitation and a swarm of Philadelphia defenders saw the Mexican international forced off the ball before he could get a shot off.
A scramble in the box following a ninth-minute corner from the Union saw a number of shots from Picault blocked by the fresh-faced, former LA2 defender, Bradley Diallo.
Roland Alberg kept his good form up, forcing a one-handed save from Brian Rowe in the nineteenth minute following a well-hit volley from the Dutch midfielder.
Philadelphia catch a break
Union fans had their hearts in their throats in the twenty-first minute when Joao Pedro created space and let a shot rip from the edge of the box but much to his chagrin and Andre Blake relief, the shot hit both posts before trickling out only to be cleared by a Union defender.
Chris Pontius did well to latch onto a poor pass from Joao Pedro in the twenty-sixth minute but his cross was well cleared by Daniel Steres before C.J. Sapong could get anything on it.
Blake comes to the rescue
Emmanual Boateng was slipped in between Jack Elliott and Ray Gaddis with a brilliantly weighted pass from Dos Santos in the thirty-second minute but Blake did brilliantly to position himself and came up with the huge save to deny Los Angeles a goal.
Jermaine Jones attempted the same pass moments later but put too much on it as Dos Santos couldn't latch onto the ball before Blake scooped it up.
Setpieces the way to go for the Union
Philadelphia continued to threaten from set pieces in the 37th minute when Haris Medunjanin's chipped ball into the box found the head of Pontius who dinked it across the box to Richie Marquez, but Marquez's header flew just high of the goal as the search for a goal continued.
Just moments later, Los Angeles broke with speed but Andre Blake did his best impression of Manuel Neuer in the 38th minute, rushing out to clear the ball from Boateng with his head.
The first half ended in dramatic fashion when Jelle Van Damme cynically took out Chris Pontius legs to earn himself a yellow card in the 45th minute but the ensuing corner flew past all the Union heads to end the half at 0-0.
Chances continue in the second half
A combative start to the second half gave way to chances, with Sapong testing Rowe in the 49th minute but before he could get a second bite of the cherry the flag went up for offside.
Jack Elliott's height came in handy in the 55th minute when Dos Santos played Boateng onto the wing in acres of space, but his cross was met well by the Englishman.
Philadelphia's set pieces threatened once again in the 57th minute when Medunjanin found the head of Marquez who's header fell to the feet of Pontius but the former DC United man shot off the turn trickled wide of goal as the chances continued to flow aplenty for both sides.
Los Angeles came agonizingly close to the first goal of the match in the 60th minute when Jermaine Jones threw himself at a Dos Santos free kick but the US international's header eeked just wide of goal.
Boateng continued his fight for the man of the match with Andre Blake curling in a beautiful shot in the sixty-second minute but the Jamaican international dived acrobatically to catch Boateng's shot with ease.
Philadelphia looked to hit back through Haris Medunjanin who hit a bomb of a shot from distance in the 69th minute but Rowe dove well to push the Bosnian international shot away from goal.
Los Angeles pressure late
Los Angeles pushed hard in the final fifteen minutes for the opening goal but Philadelphia held steady despite a scary moment in the eighty-second minute that saw Jack Elliot and Daniel Steres clash heads with both center backs coming away despite some time on the floor.
Despite a flurry of late chances, Blake did well to punch away a Galaxy corner in the eighty-ninth minute virtually assuring the Union a point away from home.
The match wouldn't be without its late dramatics as Diallo found himself in the box with just seconds to spare in the match and every intention to shoot but Jack Elliot put his body on the line and two went in on a challenge that saw Diallo booked for a nasty challenge in the dying moments of that match as Philadelphia held on for a precious point away from home.