It took 10 matches, but the home side finally registered a point in MLS play.Danny Koevermans' ugly-but-effective 88th minute strike gave Toronto FC a 1-0 victory over Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. The win was TFC's first in Major League Soccer this season, after the Reds had started the season with nine straight losses.
The first half saw the hosts apply pressure from the outset, as Toronto looked hungry for a quick goal. Inside the first 15 minutes of play, TFC garnered several good opportunities at goal, but the final touch seemed to let the home side down.
Philadelphia eventually began to make the occasional foray into Toronto's half, but outside of an ambitious effort from well outside Milos Kocic's area, the Union posed little threat in the opening stanza.
Despite their sluggish start, the visitors were the ones who came closest to opening the scoring, as Michael Farfan rang a 25 yard blast off the Toronto crossbar in the 50th minute. The close call was the Union's second in the space of a few minutes, as Philadelphia also had a driven shot roll just wide of Kocic's right post just moments earlier.
The visiting's side's renewed commitment to the attack opened up the field, and Toronto nearly took advantage in the 55th minute when a quick counterattack resulted in a Julian de Guzman shot that sailed just over Chris Konopka's crossbar.
TFC came close again just after the hour mark, as a pair of corner kicks required decent saves from Konopka in order to keep the game scoreless. Toronto reasserted its relative dominance on the match, but sustained pressure meant little as it couldn't find the back of the net despite a flurry of activity on the Philadelphia end.
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Like earlier in the match, the Union soaked up the TFC attack and looked for counterattacking opportunities, and in the 75th minute the visiting side came close again, this time forcing a double save from Kocic to keep it out of his net.
After that, the Reds continued to press forward, looking for the goal that eluded them for the duration of the match. After numerous frustrating attempts that went for nil, Toronto finally broke through thanks to Koevermans knocking in his own rebound from inside the six yard box.
TFC rode out the final few minutes to sustained applause from the home crowd, as Philadelphia looked fatigued and unable to break down Toronto's back line.