CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — Danny Mwanga scored from 23 yards out in the 82nd minute in the Philadelphia Union’s 3-2 comeback victory over Chivas USA on Saturday night.
Carlos Ruiz and Veljko Paunovic also scored in the second half to help the Union (7-4-5) take sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference and snap a four-game winless streak. Philadelphia remained undefeated at home, improving to 5-0-4.
“It looks like we found a team,” Union coach Peter Nowak said. “It speaks volumes about the group of players we have and what they can do on the field. We’re maturing every game. After (Paunovic’s goal) we said, ‘That’s it, we can score.”‘
Michael Umana and Justin Braun scored for Chivas (4-7-5), which dropped its third straight.
“Winning comes down to commitment and execution,” Chivas coach Robin Fraser said. “Our commitment in front of the goal wasn’t good enough and our execution, obviously, wasn’t good enough.”
Ruiz’s goal from 8 yards out in the 68th minute put the Union up 2-1, but Braun answered 9 minutes later.
Mwanga, who missed Union’s scoreless draw against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday night because of a knee injury, took a cross from Sebastien Le Toux and rifled it low and into the right side of the net past diving goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
“Obviously, when you take that first touch, you have to have confidence,” Mwanga said. “(Kennedy) was in good position. I shot it really hard. … I was really excited.”
Chivas USA opened the scoring in the 27th minute when Umana scored on a header from close range off an assist from Ben Zemanski. Philadelphia tied it 2:24 into the second when when Paunovic tallied on a volley from 13 yards out.
Ruiz put the Union ahead, taking a long pass from Paunovic just outside the penalty area.
Ruiz settled it with his chest, took one dribble and fired a right-footed shot from 8 yards out through Kennedy’s legs.
Braun tied it in the 77th minute from 19 yards out, beating hard-charging Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon to the ball on a through pass.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)