Highlights | #TORvPHI

Julian Carranza’s second goal of the 2022 campaign saw Philadelphia Union jump out to a first-half lead but Toronto FC fought back to claim a 2-1 win on Saturday night.

The Eastern Conference leaders looked to jump out to yet another early lead from the opening whistle with the Union generating a pair of scoring chances before Toronto FC found their consistent possession. After a long switch from Jose Martinez to Kai Wagner earned the Union a game’s opening corner. The German left back lofted a beauty of a cross into the box and a creative run by Jack Elliott found him wide open at the door step but the center back tapped it over the crossbar.

Three minutes later it was once again Wagner’s patient and precise passing creating more troubles for Toronto. After a hard cross to the left side of the box, Wagner chanced down possession for the Union and then turned to a spin move to gain space and allow time for his teammates to get onsides. Wagner was successful with a hard and low cross to the far post that just missed a sliding Julian Carranza.

Chance | Elliott nearly converts off the corner

Toronto FC offered its first test against the stout Union defense in the 17th minute with the up-and-coming Canadian prospect Jayden Nelson. The 19-year-old drifted into the middle of the pitch and had a go from the edge of the 18-yard-box that forced a save from the two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, Andre Blake. Moments later, the match was raised to another level with a low slide tackle from Nelson connecting on Wager that saw the teenager shown the game’s first yellow.

Save | Blake makes the early stop at TOR

Just past the half hour mark the Union’s high-powered front three put their mark on the match, clicking into gear. Wagner intercepted a Toronto throw-in and punted it up the field and into the path of forward Mikael Uhre where the Dane put his speed and stand up play on display. Uhre played a pass to Daniel Gazdag in stride and then made his way into the box to create space for the Hungarian midfielder. Gazdag laid it back off to Uhre to which he floated the ball to the back post where again Carranza made the run and put the Union ahead 1-0.

Goal | Carranza makes it 1-0 after the cross from Uhre!

The Union’s lead would last for just five minutes as a quick press from the hosts forced a giveaway in the defensive third. Jonathan Osorio danced through the box and sucked in the defense to allow a small sliver of space for Jesus Jimenez who sent a right-footed curler past Blake to snap the club’s shutout streak that dated back to CF Montreal in the second match of 2022.

The Union didn’t rest after surrendering the lead and capitalized once again on a set piece in the 42nd minute. Gazdag’s service was sent out of the homeside’s 18 but right into the path of Wagner. The left back teed it up with a left-footed rocket from nearly 30 yards out that snuck through everyone and into the back of the net. The goal would be taken off the board however after a check by the Video Assistant Referee deemed it not a good goal for possible offsides interference.

The hosts came out of the dressing room for the second half looking for a go-ahead strike and succeeded with the dangerous Alejandro Pozuelo. The Spaniard claimed possession at the edge of the Union’s 18 and turned on the skill moves to create space inside the box in the 50th minute. With Jack Elliott stepping up to block the shot, Pozuelo sent a shot low on the ground that snuck through the center back and the keeper to put the Canadian side ahead.

Trailing by a goal, the Union stuck with their direct and counter attacking style to find the equalizer. Uhre had a pair of chances in the 60th and 61st minute, finding space behind Toronto the outside backs to tie things up. The Danish forward looked destined for his first Union score but was denied both times by Bono including a reaction toe save to keep the scoreline unchanged.

Chance | Uhre nearly scores on the counter

Union Head Coach Jim Curtin turned to his substitutes in the with 20 minutes remaining in the contest with Sergio Santos and homegrown Jack McGlynn brough in to chase the contest. The duo were quickly joined by Cory Burke in the 77th minute with the Jamaican forward nearly scoring on his first touch after a combination play with Santos was blocked inside the box by a diving defender.

As the clock ticked up so did the Union’s push for a tying goal with nearly every moment seeing the Union get forward into the attack. Paxten Aaronson joined into the attack in the 87th minute for captain Alejandro Bedoya in the waning moments. Burke and Santos turned to their speed in the dying moments but the hosts held their ground just enough to keep the three points in Canada even on a last second header from Jakob Glesnes off a corner.

Philadelphia Union returns home to wrap up April with Kids Day presented by Subaru with a second battle against CF Montreal. Tickets for the Saturday, April 23rd, contest can be purchased by clicking here. The match will also see the return of the postgame kick at Subaru Park with kids 14 and under eligible to take their shot on goal following the match. All participates will receive a free reusable Subaru water bottle but must register prior to the game. To register, please click here.