Philadelphia Union 1-1 Toronto FC
Philadelphia Union fought back to earn a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC Saturday afternoon, as forward Jack McInerney provided the equalizer in the 93rd minute of a physical, hard-fought battle between the two Eastern Conference sides.
With over 20 fouls – eight which were yellow card cautions – one ejection and numerous stoppages of play for injuries, the match saw plenty of physical play. Toronto FC goalkeeper Joe Bendik also put in a strong effort, making nine total saves, with six coming in the second half.
“Our thought going into this is that we needed to dictate the possession, the tempo and the rhythm of the game and the stat sheet says we did,” said Union Team Manager John Hackworth after the match. “But in reality, it was such a weird game you couldn’t get any rhythm going in it. It was very frustrating.”
A constant wave of attack on Toronto keeper Joe Bendik finally paid off in second half stoppage time when a shot from Conor Casey was deflected and rolled right to the feet of fellow striker McInerney, who scored his fourth of the season with a well-placed ball back post.
McInerney’s goal nullified a goal from Toronto forward Robert Earnshaw, who ran in behind a confused Union defense and slotted home past Zac MacMath in the 71st minute.
“They played the ball over the top and I think [our defense] thought they were offsides,” admitted Union keeper Zac MacMath. “It’s becoming way too much of a theme where we aren’t giving up many shots, but teams are still scoring goals and that’s frustrating for me personally. Now it’s something we need to reflect on and try to figure out [how to correct it].”
In front of 17,182 in attendance at PPL Park, the Union improve to 2-2-2 on the year with seven points.
“I think we do a good job of getting a point and working real hard,” said midfielder Danny Cruz. “Keep in mind we had a goal called back [a disallowed McInerney goal attempt in the 88th minute] that could have made it two, but credit to our guys to battling back and getting a late one and a point. By no means are we happy about this, but I think there are good things to take from it, as well.”
The Union prepare for an Eastern Conference clash against rivals D.C. United next Saturday (5 p.m., ESPN2) at RFK Stadium. It’s a game soon after this one against Toronto ended, many of the players already had on their mind.
“It’s a huge game and I think it comes at the right time because we’ve been playing well on the road,” said Cruz. “We played well against Colorado, we hit a bump against New York and we played very well against Columbus. It’s a game we are already talking about and we are already looking forward to next Sunday.”
Philadelphia Union 1, Toronto FC 1
Saturday, April 13; 4:00 p.m. ET
PPL Park, Chester, Pa.
TOR: Earnshaw (Morgan) 71’
PHI: McInerney (Casey), 90’ (+3)
TOR: Morgan (caution) 21’
PHI: Cruz (caution) 36’
TOR: Agbossoumonde (caution) 68’
TOR: Ephraim (dissent) 74’
TOR: O’Dea (caution) 74’
TOR: Bendik (time wasting) 80’
PHI: Daniel (dissent) 83’
TOR: Morgan (red) 88’
PHI: Casey (dissent) 90’
UNION STARTING 11
MacMath, Williams, Okugo, Parke, Gaddis (Kléberson 79’), Carroll, Daniel,), Cruz (M. Farfan 65’), Le Toux (Hoppenot 67’), McInerney, Casey
NEW ENGLAND STARTING 11
Bendik, Russell (Richter 7’), Agbossoumonde, O’Dea, Morgan, Lambe, Hall, Ephraim, Silva (Osorio 73’) Braun, Earnshaw (Bostock 86’)