Some days this season the Philadelphia Union transform themselves and become a team better than their actual talent indicates. Today was not one of those days. The Union fell behind early, and never came close to challenging Toronto in the second half en route to a 2-1 defeat at BMO Field.
The Union's best chance of the match came real early on. C.J. Sapong successfully danced around Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik in the box. But with an open net flashing him, Sapong found himself at too tight an angle and could only launch the ball into the side-netting resulting in a harmless Toronto goal kick. A few minutes later Sapong fired a shot from distance, but Bednik easily scooped it up.
Marky Delgado put Toronto FC on top for good in the 29th minute. Nice build-up in the midfield led to Sebastian Giovinco slotting it through to Delgago who took a quick touch then volleyed the ball past Brian Sylvestre while Ethan White stood still. The goal was too easy for the Reds, who were happy to accept White's and the Union's gift of bad defending.
Toronto's second goal came only a few minutes later. Altidore flicked a throw-in to Giovinco who went straight for the shot on target. Sylvestre made a nice save, but he could only parry the ball back into the box. Instead of boxing out or marking or defending Giovinco, the Union defense just stood there as Giovinco picked up his own rebound and smashed it past a diving Sylvestre to give Toronto their second goal in two minutes.
Toronto would have numerous chances to add on to their lead even more, though they would never need it. Giovinco had a 1-on-1 with Sylvestre, but tucked it wide by a few inches. Much later on in the game, Jozy Altidore had an easy header available to him at the top of the six-yard box, but he headed it right at the feet of the Union defenders.
Having suffered a concussion in the first half of the match, Andrew Wenger was subbed out for Eric Ayuk. And for Ayuk's part it appeared as if he had volleyed in a cross in the 60th minute, but the assistant referee had ruled that Ayuk was offside and thus the goal could not stand. Though the official was correct in his ruling and Ayuk was indeed offside, a part of him should still feel bad anyway because he robbed the world of seeing Ayuk once more celebrate a goal.
Jim Curtin took off Richie Marquez in the second half for Conor Casey, leaving the Union with three in the back. It was a risky move, but given Toronto's propensity for conceding and the fact the Union were down two, it seemed like it would be a risk worth taking. And as it turns out, the Union did score a goal right at the dawn of second half stoppage time, giving themselves somewhat of a fighting chance. The flick from Sapong to 2nd half substitute Conor Casey allowed him an opportunity to dance around the Toronto defense before firing a shot past Bendik and on target into the net.
Unfortunately for the Union though, they would not be able to pressure Bendik's net again and the Union would walk away from BMO Field defeated 2-1. Up next for the Union is mid-week U.S. Open Cup play as the Union will travel to Harrison for a quarter-final against New York Red Bulls, and the Union will play their next MLS match in front of a national TV audience next Sunday at D.C. United.