CHESTER, Pa. â€” C.J. Sapong scored the equalizer two minutes after Philadelphia gave up a goal and the Union tied Toronto FC 2-2 on Saturday.
Sapong took a perfect feed from Fabian Herbers that left him one-on-one with goalkeeper Clint Irwin. Sapong tapped the ball around the closing Irwin and left-footed it into the empty net.
“To concede within two minutes of scoring a goal is just something we have to be much better at,” said Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney on Philadelphia’s equalizing goal. “I’ve seen the play, so I have strong opinions about the play, but it should’ve never happened, and in that way I’m disappointed because we fought to get ourselves back and get on top and we’ve got to be more mature than we were in that moment to get the results.”
Toronto took advantage of a defensive lapse to take a 2-1 lead in the 71st minute. Michael Bradley lofted a long free kick into the box, Justin Morrow chested it near the corner of the six-yard box and finished from a difficult angle.
“It was their home opener, and I think we felt that. The first 15 minutes or so they really put it on us,” said Morrow. “They were all over the place. We knew that they were going to be like that and we didn’t match their level I don’t think. So I think, as the game went on, we grew into the game and that goal right before half was crucial for us.”
Both teams played to scoreless draws in their season openers last weekend.
Philadelphia, which was knocked out of the playoffs last year by Toronto, struck first on Jay Simpson’s header in the 11th minute. Simpson beat Irwin to the ball after Chris Pontius’ header to the middle.
Toronto tied it in first-half stoppage time when Jozy Altidore scored on a penalty kick after being fouled by Derrick Jones. The Union were not pleased with the call but head coach Jim Curtin believes that Major League Soccer’s clutching in the box initiative will inevitably lead to more penalty kicks.
“If you’re going to call the clutching in the box, and I warned them this when we sat in the meeting, you could call a penalty kick on literally every ball that’s put in the box,” said Curtin. “Someone is grabbing, someone is holding. With it being an initiative now, you know they’re going to randomly be just calling them.
“And you know there will be overreacting in the early stages, similar to last year with the red cards.”
The Associated Press