CHESTER, Pa. – Just minutes after seeing a potential goal blocked off the goal line, Blas Pérez netted a last-gasp equalizer very late in stoppage time to lift shorthanded FC Dallas to a wild 2-2 draw with the Philadelphia Union on Saturday at PPL Park.
The goal negated what would have been the Philadelphia Union’s first-ever win over FC Dallas, as well as some unlikely heroics from reserve striker Aaron Wheeler.
Making just his second MLS appearance, Wheeler put the Union ahead 2-1 in the 87th minute on a cross from right back Sheanon Williams.
Williams finished with two assists, as well as the dramatic goal-line clearance in stoppage time against Pérez, which replays indicated may have crossed the line. But Pérez got his revenge when he headed in the tying goal after Union goalie Zac MacMath failed to catch a free kick delivered into the box.
FULL MATCH STATISTICS AND BOX SCORE
The game featured 10 total yellow cards, including two to Dallas defender Je-Vaughn Watson, who was sent off in the 68th minute, giving the Union a man-advantage for the second straight week.
But besides Wheeler’s first career goal, the Union weren’t able to do enough to extend their two-game winning streak and beat Dallas for the first time in six tries.
In the first half, the Union and FC Dallas exchanged goals within three minutes of each other in the first half.
Philly got on the board first – in familiar fashion – when center back Amobi Okugo leaped to head home a Williams long throw-in the 20th minute. The goal was Okugo’s third of the season, with two coming on Williams’ throw-ins. And the assist was Williams’ fourth on throw-ins.
Dallas, however, struck back just minutes later with a header of their own from a young centerback. In the 23rd minute, Walker Zimmerman scored his second goal in as many weeks on a long free kick from Michel.
It was just the second career goal for the 20-year-old Zimmerman, whose dramatic 90th-minute goal last week lifted Dallas to a 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City.
Against the Union, Zimmerman made just his second career start, helping to fill in the void left by injured defenders George John (hamstring strain) and Zach Lloyd (groin pull), neither of whom made the trip to Philly.
The Union were a bit shorthanded too, playing without midfielders Keon Daniel (international duty), Kleberson (quad strain) and Michael Lahoud (sports hernia).
Saturday’s game also marked the final one for Philly’s Jack McInerney and Pérez before they both left for Gold Cup duty.
OPTA CHALKBOARD: McInerney's day in a snapshot
McInerney, who’s tied for the MLS lead with 10 goals, missed a couple of prime scoring chances in his send-off game at PPL Park. In the 13th minute, he mishandled a pass from Conor Casey that fell to the foot of Sebastien Le Toux, whose close-range shot was saved by Dallas goalie Raúl Fernández. And two minutes later, his sliding volley on a Michael Farfan long-ball went just wide.
FC Dallas returns to action Thursday with a home game against Chivas USA before traveling to Los Angles to take on the Galaxy on Sunday.
The Union next hit the road for a two-game swing through Real Salt Lake (Wednesday) and Houston (Saturday).
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Amobi Okugo||A stellar display on the back line and another goal off a header in the box. Complete performance.|
|2||Matt Hedges||The leader in the back for FCD missing veterans George John and Zach Loyd. Unlucky not to score on the other end.|
|3||Blas Perez||The most active attacking weapon for Dallas. Battled until the very end and dusted off goal-line controversy with equalizer.|