Philadelphia Union finished the 2016 preseason on a strong note with a 1-0 victory against Toronto FC in the final game of the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Suncoast Invitational tournament Saturday evening.
C.J. Sapong scored the game-winning goal in the 60th minute. His first goal of 2016, Sapong intercepted a bad pass from the Toronto defense leading to a breakaway. The forward sent the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Clint Irwin’s net with a great finish.
The Union went undefeated in the Suncoast Invitational with a record of 2-0-2. The Union also defeated Tampa Bay Rowdies (2-0) and tied with New York Red Bulls (0-0) and D.C. United (1-1).
Andre Blake earned his first shutout of 2016 this evening making some important saves as Toronto had five shots on goal. The Union have now maintained shutouts in the past three games and conceded only one goal during the four-game tournament.
The game saw chances for both teams. Illsinho got the first shot within the first minute as he capitalized on a bad pass in the Toronto Defense. The Brazilian sent the ball hard and low at the goal but it hit the post.
Brian Carroll also came close to scoring in the 34th minute. Sapong passed the ball back to the captain whose shot looked to be going in before Irwin made a quick save. The ball hit the crossbar before going out for a Union corner.
Sebastian Giovinco saw a couple chances on goal for Toronto FC. In the 18th minute, the Italian beat Ken Tribbett and fired at Blake, but the Jamaican keeper sent the ball over the crossbar.
The Union will return to Philadelphia ahead of the 2016 MLS Regular Season, which will start next Sunday, March 6 at 3 p.m. against F.C. Dallas in Toyota Stadium. The game will be televised on The Comcast Network.
Toronto FC 0, Philadelphia Union 1
Al Lang Stadium
St. Petersburg, Fla.
TFC — Michael Bradley 33’ (yellow)
TFC— Mark Bloom 38’ (yellow)
TFC — Drew Moor 79’ (yellow)
Fouls: Toronto 10 – 4 Union
Corners: Toronto 3 – 2 Union
Shots (on target): Toronto 9(5) – Union 5(2)
PHILADELPHIA UNION STARTING XI
Andre Blake, Fabinho, Anderson, Ken Tribbett, Keegan Rosenberry, Brian Carroll ©, Vincent Nogueira, Chris Pontius, Ilsinho (Sebastien Le Toux 75’), Leo Fernandes, C.J. Sapong
TORONTO FC STARTING XI
Clint Irwin, Justin Morrow, Drew Moor, Michael Bradley, Will Johnson (Jay Chapman 68’), Benoît Cheyrou (Mo Babouli 45’), Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio, Damien Perquis, Mark Bloom (Hagglund 77’), Tsubasa Endoh (Daniel Lovitz 78’)