Philadelphia Union Cannot Handle Giovinco, Toronto FC
Photo Courtesy of Bill Streicher/USA Today

The Philadelphia Union traveled to Toronto for a Saturday afternoon showdown but fell 2-1 to the host, Toronto FC.

With Philadelphia team captain and center back Maurice Edu out due to yellow card accumulation, Philadelphia Coach Jim Curtin turned to Ethan White to pair with Richie Marquez in central defense.

In the first 20 minutes of the game, Philadelphia looked to have the upper hand as CJ Sapong continued to give opposing defenses fits. In the eighth minute, Sapong almost added to his season tally when Vincent Nogueira sent a great though ball into the box that found Sapong. Sapong managed to get past a lunging Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik but his second touch led him too far from goal to put it into the net as shot hit the side netting.

After the first 20 minutes, Toronto and, specifically, Giovinco would wake up on offense. Up until this first portion of the game, the Union backline had done fairly well in containing the Atomic Ant by surrounding him with at least two men.

In the 29th minute, Toronto would find pay dirt when great team passing from Collen Warner as well as Jonathan Osorio found Giovinco on top of the box. Giovinco then slid the ball to Marky Delgado, who smashed his shot past Union goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre for the 1-0 Toronto lead.

Then, only three minutes later, Giovinco would add his own goal to double the Toronto lead. In the 29th minute, Giovinco received a bouncing header pass from Jozy Altidore. Giovinco found some space as ripped a hard shot to the left of Sylvestre. Sylvestre did well to stop the initial shot but he could only parry the shot to the penalty spot. After the initial shot and save, the Union defense got caught ball watching, which allowed Giovinco to go find his own rebound and double the Toronto goal tally.

In the second half, the Union would have a few chances to cut the Toronto lead. In the 60th minute, Union midfielder Eric Ayuk looked to have cut the lead to one off a Union cross. However, Ayuk was a yard offside so the goal would be called back.

The Union would finally find a goal but not until the first minute in stoppage time thanks to some good physical play by Union substitute forward Conor Casey. Casey received a flicked on ball from CJ Sapong at the top of the box, where he was able to create some space for a shot and a goal. The goal would be too late to affect the outcome, as the Union would end up losing 2-1 only two minutes later.

One piece of information to be taken from the game was the injury to Union midfielder Andrew Wenger, who was subbed out of the game in the 39th minute. It will interesting to see if the winger will be fit enough for the Union’s Tuesday U.S Open Cup Quarterfinal matchup against New York Red Bulls.

On the day, Giovinco would total one goal and an assist as the Union simply could not keep up with the newly named MLS All-Star.

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