A great half by the Philadelphia Union was marred by a call that went Toronto FC’s way at the half, and the sides went in to the locker room at 1-1.
The Union had a good chance early when Alejandro Bedoya hit a great cross from the right over to Chris Pontius, whose header went just wide of the goal.
In the ninth minute, it was a good cross from Fabian Herbers who hit a good cross over to Pontius, however the final touch didn’t come. Just a minute later though, the fortune would change and the hard work would pay off when Fabian Herbers hit a long cross to Pontius, who played the ball back to center where Jay Simpson was able to catch Clint Irwin heading the wrong way. Simpson’s header trickled in, but counted the same as a 30 yard rocket.
¡Goooooool de @PhilaUnion!— Fútbol MLS (@futbolMLS) March 11, 2017
El inglés Jay Simpson marca el primero para los locales y también el primero en su cuenta personal. #PHIvTOR pic.twitter.com/YWSmhvLoHN
The Union had a great deal of success with this formula. Long passes from side-to-side to stretch the Toronto defense and using the wingers (Pontius and Herbers) as the targets to try and make the final play. Defensively, they were for the most part able to keep Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore nullified by keeping Oguchi Onyewu close to Altidore and Marquez close to Giovinco.
Onyewu was whistled for a foul on Altidore just outside of the Union’s box around the 18th minute. Giovinco’s free kick went straight into Derrick Jones, and the danger was removed.
Jay Simpson was injured in the 28th minute, and was replaced by CJ Sapong. Marisa Pilla reported in-broadcast that it was a right rib injury.
In the 31st minute, Fabian Herbers was yanked down in the box by . Alejandro Bedoya took the penalty and crushed the shot off of the crossbar. Toronto cleared the chance, and the opportunity was lost.
Clank.— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 11, 2017
Bedoya hits the bar from the spot. #PHIvTOR https://t.co/U9d3jTT3CY
In the 37th, Altidore played a great ball out toward Giovinco, but Keegan Rosenberry took a page out of Richie Marquez’ playbook and cleared it with an inch-perfect tackle in the box to clear the chance.
Sebastian Giovinco went down with what appeared to be a dead leg in the 45th minute on a collision with Onyewu. On the restart after Giovinco came off, Derrick Jones got twisted up with Altidore, who did his best Giovinco impression and went down like he’d been shot.
Penalty to Toronto. Hard to see from this view but it's the best we got. #PHIvTOR pic.twitter.com/hN0iZI077K— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) March 11, 2017
Mark Geiger being Mark Geiger, awarded the penalty, and Altidore buried it to bring the sides level at the half.
.@JozyAltidore se encarga de empatar para #TFC justo antes del final de la primera parte. #PHIvTOR 1-1 pic.twitter.com/ob9KXfq5UK— Fútbol MLS (@futbolMLS) March 11, 2017
Union: Andre Blake; Fabinho, Richie Marquez, Oguchi Onyewu, Keegan Rosenberry; Derrick Jones, Haris Medunjanin; Chris Pontius, Alejandro Bedoya, Fabian Herbers; Jay Simpson (CJ Sapong, 28’)
Toronto FC: Clint Irwin; Nick Hagglund, Drew Moor, Eriq Zavaleta; Justin Morrow, Victor Vazquez, Michael Bradley, Armando Cooper, Tsubasa Endoh; Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore
Scoring: Union - Jay Simpson (10’); Toronto- Jozy Altidore (45’ - penalty)
Disciplinary: Union - None; Toronto- None