TORONTO – Toronto FC finally won a league game on Saturday in their 10th attempt.
Second-half substitute Danny Koevermans muscled home a shot in the 88th minute as TFC defeated the Philadelphia Union 1-0 at BMO Field. The win gave Toronto their first points of any kind in MLS play this season.
Both teams are trying to get something going in the league. Philadelphia (2-7-2) are winless in their past five games, while Toronto (1-9-0) had the worst start in league history by losing their first nine games.
Philadelphia were outplayed in the first half, but started better in the second. Both teams had their share of chances, including Philadelphia’s Michael Farfan hitting the crossbar with a shot in the 50th minute.
Toronto didn't fold, though, and Chris Konopka saved on a close-range header by Doneil Henry off a corner in the 63rd minute.
Konopka was alert on a couple of Toronto's late chances, but he couldn’t cope with Koevermans’ second effort on a shot from just outside the left side of the post. It came after some determined work down the left side by second-half substitute and fellow Dutchman Nick Soolsma. Konopka also had his area besieged in the first several minutes of the game as Toronto had the early advantage. He saved on Reggie Lambe’s shot from the right side of the box, before Lambe put the rebound wide. Soon after, Ryan Johnson misfired twice with shots.
Konopka, Philadelphia’s third-string goalkeeper, was playing because of injuries to Zac MacMath and Chase Harrison. His last MLS game was when he was with the New York Red Bulls last Aug. 13 in a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire.
Philadelphia had a little bit better of the play in the middle portion of the first half, but were leaving themselves vulnerable to long passes to the Toronto forwards. Torsten Frings to Johnson was particularly effective.
Late in the first half, Toronto again buzzed around Konopka’s goal without getting a direct shot, although Adrian Cann sent a header just wide.
The first half finished with Toronto having nine attempts at goal to Philadelphia¹s two. Toronto had one shot on goal and Philadelphia none.
The Union play the Rochester Rhinos at PPL Park in a US Open match on May 29. Philadelphia's next league game in June 16 at home to D.C. United. Toronto's next game is at Sporting Kansas City on June 16.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Danny Koevermans||Second-half substitute made his time count and his tally vaulted Toronto into the win column for the first time this season|
|2||Chris Konopka||Third-string goalkeeper survived an onslaught of Toronto chances and kept Philadelphia in the match|
|3||Michael Farfan||The only real offensive spark for the Union, Farfan created opportunties and even sent a long-range shot off the crossbar|
FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS