Sporting KC Vs. Philadelphia Union, 2011 MLS: Sporks Grab Share Of Eastern Conference Lead With Tie

Sporting Kansas City and the Philadelphia Union didn't exactly provide much clarity to the MLS playoff race, playing to a 1-1 tie on Friday. But that doesn't mean the game was without serious implications, as the single point allowed Sporting to move into a tie for the Eastern Conference lead and the Union to bolster their No. 3 spot.

Still, neither team got exactly what it was looking for, and both teams could probably make a case for deserving all three points. As it is, Sporting have to settle for being even on points with the Columbus Crew, although they do hold a rather massive goal-difference advantage. Sporting will play the Crew on Wednesday, needing a victory to grab the tiebreaker advantage.

A win for the Union would have catapulted them to the top of the East's table with the added advantage of having a game-in-hand on Sporting. The point does give them a four-point cushion on the No. 10 playoff spot, but it continues a rather frustrating trend of failing to get the full three points. The Union have now won just once in their past 10 matches.

Both teams seemed poised to grab control of the game at various points, but it was Sporting who struck first. Omar Bravo got on the end of a Kei Kamara pass in the to score his team-leading ninth goal of the season 56th minute.

Just as the game seemed to be getting away from the Union, they managed to find the equalizer in the 63rd minute. Michael Farfan deftly kept a ball in bounds at the touchline and found Sebastien Le Toux unmarked inside the box. Le Toux one-touched it past goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen for his seventh goal in his past six games. After a slow start to the season when he was playing mostly midfield, he now has eight goals and eight assists.

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