Danny Mwanga scored his first MLS goal in style for the Union on Saturday, rocketing a shot past FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman in stoppage time and salvaging a 1-1 tie for Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field.
The top pick of the MLS SuperDraft in January pounced on a loose ball in the penalty box in the 93rd minute and ripped a right-footed volley past a helpless Hartman, who had been the star for an FCD team just seconds away from its third straight shutout win.
But it wasn’t enough to foil the Union, who hung around just long enough to pick up an emotional draw in just their second game at home this season.
Not that the Union didn’t have other chances to earn the win outright. Forward Sebastien Le Toux missed perhaps the best one of the day midway through the first half, skipping a breakaway shot wide of the goal as Hartman closed in.
But while Le Toux missed that chance on his own, the rest of the Union’s missed opportunities were solely due to a stellar day from Hartman. The veteran played perhaps his best game this season while looking to cement his role as the club’s starter in goal over Dario Sala, and is now 2-0-1 in his last three games as a starter.
He denied a prime chance for Alejandro Moreno in the early going, getting a hand on the veteran striker’s flick header before Arrieta popped the rebound over the goal.
Hartman was back at it again in the 21st minute, denying Union forward Roger Torres on a header from six yards out.
But the day inevitably belonged to Mwanga, the rookie out of Oregon State who came on in the 81st minute for Arrieta.
Taken first overall by the Union in January, the rookie streaked across the field following his first league tally, engulfed by the cheers of a hungry Philadelphia crowd thrilled with a young team that rescued a draw from yet another defeat.