Late Goal Seals First League Win
Photo: Danny Koevermans scored off the bench at the 88th minute (Giamou/TorontoFC.ca).
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 Toronto FC defeated the Philadelphia Union 1-0. The win before 18,277 at BMO Field gave Toronto their first points of any kind in the league this season.
Video: Watch the Game In Six minutes.
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 applied the pressure again though, and Chris Konopka saved on a close-in 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 U.S. Open match on Tuesday. Philadelphia¹s next league game in June 16 at home to D.C. United. Toronto¹s next game is at Kansas City on June 16.
88' Toronto - Danny Koevermans
11' Philadelphia - Raymon Gaddis (caution)
29' Philadelphia - Lionard Pajoy (caution)
30' Toronto - Ashtone Morgan (caution)
43' Toronto - Julian de Guzman (caution)
Toronto - Milos Kocic; Jeremy Hall, Adrian Cann, Doneil Henry, Ashtone Morgan; Julian de Guzman, Torsten Frings, Luis Silva (Nick Soolsma 70'), Reggie Lambe (Richard Eckersley 54'), Ryan Johnson, Joao Plata (Danny Koevermans 63') ... Substitutes not used: Quillan Roberts; Ty Harden, Terry Dunfield, Efrain Burgos Jr.
Philadelphia - Chris Konopka; Sheanon Williams, Ray Gaddis (Michael Lahoud 37'), Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan; Michael Farfan, Brian Carroll, Kai Herdling (Antoine Hoppenot 65'), Freddy Adu; Lionard Pajoy, Danny Mwanga (Josue Martinez 83') ... Substitutes not used: Brian Rowe; Cristhian Hernandez, Greg Jordan, Amobi Okugo