TORONTO – It has been a long time between league wins for Toronto FC and the Philadelphia Union.
Both are still searching after Saturday’s 1-1 draw before an announced crowd of 15,669 at BMO Field, a game that looked to be a rare win for the home side until Sheanon Williams scored in the 85th minute as TFC once again conceded a late goal.
Eric Hassli had given Toronto hope for three points with a goal in the second half, his fourth this season and second with the Reds.
Toronto (5-17-7) were trying for their first league win since July 18 when they defeated Colorado 2-1. They entered Saturday with six losses and two draws since that victory.
The Union (7-13-6) had not won since beating New England 2-1 on July 29 and entered Saturday with three losses and three draws since.
The result leaves Toronto with 22 points at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, five behind the Union.
Toronto had most of the shots at goal in the first half, but goalkeeper Milos Kocic was still pressed into service in the 17th minute. He had to rush out to the edge of the penalty area to thwart an attempt by Danny Cruz, who was trying to latch on to a through ball.
Luis Silva, playing up front with Hassli, had some chances to put the home side into the lead in the first half. He made a clever run to the center of the penalty area in the 24th minute, cutting inside but putting his shot just wide to the right.
Silva should have done better in the 41st minute when Ryan Johnson found him with a header back across the face of goal but his volley from the center of the penalty area soared over the bar.
Not surprisingly, Silva had a hand in Toronto’s goal in the 57th minute. After taking down a long pass from Darren O’Dea deep down the right side, he put a ball back across the box that Hassli controlled and buried in the bottom corner for the 1-0 lead.
There was some scuffling between the sides in the 78th minute at the edge of Toronto’s penalty area after Hassli stayed down with an injury. It settled down, but Hassli was forced to limp off with Quincy Amarikwa coming on for the Frenchman.
Then, with five minutes remaining, Williams got the equalizer from close range after a low cross from Antoine Hoppenot made it’s way through traffic into the six-yard box.
The teams had split their first two meetings. Toronto ended their nine-game losing streak to open the season on May 26 with a 1-0 win. The Union won in Philadelphia 3-0.
Toronto’s next game is at Los Angeles against the Galaxy next Saturday, Sept. 22. The Union are home to D.C. United on Thursday, Sept. 20.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Terry Dunfield||TFC made it hard on Philly, and Dunfield was central to that aim on a day when possession rare.|
|2||Sheanon Williams||The goal was crucial, sure, but his work on Ryan Williams was just as important to Philly's cause.|
|3||Eric Hassli||Truthfully, not his best game. But with chances in short supply, that little bit of quality was the difference.|