Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio, and Jozy Altidore were all on target as Toronto FC dispatched the Union 3-1 Wednesday in the first round of the MLS Playoffs.
Giovinco gave Toronto the lead in the 15th minute after mistakes from Ken Tribbett and Andre Blake. Osorio would double the advantage just after halftime, with the Union failing to defend a set piece. Alejandro Bedoya’s 73rd minute goal would give the Union hope, but Altidore’s 85th minute goal would seal the victory for the hosts.
Jim Curtin named his standard starting 11 from recent matches, with the only real surprise maybe being Warren Creavalle, playing with three broken ribs, getting the nod over Brian Carroll in the holding midfield role.
The Union started strong and would have been content with the first 14 minutes of the match, possessing well and keeping Toronto pinned back. But a mistake by Tribbett would lead directly to Toronto’s opener in the 15th minute.
The Union center back failed to deal with a bouncing ball over the top, and his touch went toward his own goal. Blake attempted to come for the loose ball but was beaten to it by Jozy Altidore, who touched it centrally for Sebastian Giovinco to volley into an empty net from 12 yards.
Toronto would come close to doubling their lead just three minutes later when Giovinco latched onto a loose ball after the Union could not clear a corner kick, but Blake was down well to his right to deny the Italian a second.
Philadelphia struggled to find a way back into the match as the half wore on. Tranquillo Barnetta’s set plays gave the Union their best opportunities, with C.J. Sapong’s 36th minute header on target the closest they would come to troubling Clint Irwin in the Toronto net.
Toronto doubled their lead in the 48th minute through Osorio. Giovinco’s corner kick was flicked on by Nick Hagglund at the near post, and Osorio was completely unmarked at the far post to tap in and give the hosts the 2-0 lead.
Curtin looked to Ilsinho in the 59th minute, with the Brazilian replacing the ineffective Fabian Herbers. The wide man made an immediate impact with some clever dribbles down the right side.
Roland Alberg was brought into the fray in the 70th minute, replacing Sapong. Chris Pontius moved into the center forward position temporarily.
The Union pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute through Bedoya. The midfield man, who had looked off the pace for much of the match, stayed onside after Toronto failed to clear a Union corner kick. Tribbett, Ilsinho, and finally Richie Marquez kept the ball alive, and Bedoya was able to find a touch and finish into the right side of Irwin’s goal.
Charlie Davies would be Curtin’s last roll of the dice, replacing iron man Keegan Rosenberry in the 83rd minute.
But it would be Toronto on the counterattack shortly after that would kill off the match. Giovinco latched onto the ball just inside the Union half and drive at the Philadelphia backline. He lofted a ball across to the left side for Altidore, who originally miscontrolled his touch. Tribbett again failed to deal with a bouncing ball, with this one coming off his foot and straight back to Altidore. Tribbett was able to just barely block the striker’s shot, but the ball tucked into the near post past Blake.
Toronto will go on to play New York City FC in the conference semi-finals this Sunday.
Andre Blake, Keegan Rosenberry (Charlie Davies 84′), Ken Tribbett, Richie Marquez, Fabinho, Warren Creavalle, Alejandro Bedoya, Tranquillo Barnetta, Chris Pontius, Fabian Herbers (Ilsinho 59′), C.J. Sapong (Roland Alberg 70′)
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Ray Gaddis, Auston Trusty, Brian Carroll
Clint Irwin, Eriq Zavaleta, Drew Moor, Nick Hagglund, Michael Bradley, Steven Beitashour, Armando Cooper (Benoit Cheyrou 70′), Jonathan Osorio (Will Johnson 66′), Justin Morrow, Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore (Tosaint Ricketts 88′)
Unused Subs: Mark Bloom, Alex Bono, Josh Williams, Marco Delgado
TOR: Sebastian Giovinco (Jozy Altidore) –15′
TOR: Jonathan Osorio (Nick Hagglund, Sebastian Giovinco) — 47
PHI: Alejandro Bedoya (Richie Marquez, Ilsinho) — 73′
TOR: Jozy Altidore — 85′
TOR: Michael Bradley (unsporting behavior) — 14′
PHI: C.J. Sapong (unsporting behavior) — 25′
PHI: Alejandro Bedoya (unsporting behavior) –43′
TOR: Jozy Altidore (unsporting behavior) –45+1′
PHI: Ken Tribbett (unsporting behavior) — 90′
|Toronto FC||Philadelphia Union|
|5||Shots on Target||3|
|6||Shots off Target||2|
|64%||Duels Won %||46%|