TORONTO – Different stadium, same result.
The Philadelphia Union beat Toronto FC for the second time in four days, taking a 2-0 win at BMO Field to wrap up a home-and-home against their Eastern rivals and leapfrog them in the standings. The visitors scored on two first-half headers, including another game-winner from former Toronto FC forward Conor Casey, who now has seven goals in 15 all-time matches against TFC.
Casey's early strike in the 8th minute set the tone for the rest of the match. After Toronto failed to clear their lines on two separate occasions, the ball fell kindly to the foot of Philadelphia's Sheanon Williams out wide on the right. The right back swung the ball into the box where Casey met it with his head, beating goalkeeper Joe Bendik for a 1-0 lead.
Toronto FC, who started veteran Dwayne De Rosario for the first time since April, attempted to find the equalizer, but despite maintaining prolonged possession they couldn't find a way through an organized Union side. And Philadelphia answered by counterattacking with poise and confidence. Just one minute before the halftime whistle, the visitors were rewarded with a second goal.
The ball bounced off the head of three different Union forwards before finally being directed at goal by 23-year-old Andrew Wenger, who beat Bendik again with a free header in the box for a comfortable 2-0 lead at the break.
In the second half, Toronto introduced substitutes Kyle Bekker, Jackson and Warren Creavalle, and captain Michael Bradley made it a point to push forward on several occasions. The increased urgency led to a handful of chances including three shots that hit the woodwork: a Mark Bloom curler tipped by Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath against the left post (55th minute), a header by Jackson that struck the crossbar (76th minute) and a Bradley volleyed blast that nailed the corner of the goal (89th minute).
Toronto FC, losers of two straight matches under new head coach Greg Vanney, next head to Chicago to take on the Fire next Saturday (8:30 pm ET), while the Union host the New York Red Bulls at PPL Park on the same day (3 pm ET, NBCSN).
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Maurice Edu||With Carlos Valdes on int'l duty, he slotted right back into the centerback role and once again looked might comfortable. He also may have a claim on the 2nd Union goal.|
|2||Vincent Nogueira||Had a few more turnovers than you want to see out of him, but still took advantage of the space in the heart of Toronto's midfield, connecting passes and helping to launch the counter.|
|3||Nick Hagglund||The rookie was the busiest TFC player, running up and down the right flank, winning balls in the air, making recoveries and proving dangerous on attacking set pieces. Toronto need five more Hagglunds back there.|