Ayo Akinola and Alejandro Pozuelo scored second-half goals to lift Toronto FC to a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union in MLS play Saturday.
The winning goal came in the 76th minute after Chris Mavinga flicked on a header from a corner to an unmarked Pozuelo at the far post for his seventh of the season and fourth in as many games.
It marked the fourth game-winning goal of the season for Pozuelo, who was voted MLS player of the month in September. The Spanish playmaker, making a strong case for MVP honours, came into weekend play with a league-leading nine assists.
Toronto (9-2-4) extended its winning streak to three and unbeaten run to five (4-0-1) as it mounted its second comeback win in a week. TFC rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit to defeat Columbus 3-1 last Sunday.
WATCH | Pozuelo , Mavinga combine for the win:
Saturday’s win may have come at a cost, however. Toronto lost both fullback Justin Morrow and striker Jozy Altidore to injury during the match.
Sergio Santos scored for Philadelphia (8-3-4), which saw its five-game unbeaten streak snapped.
The game, the second at TFC’s pandemic home of Pratt and Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field, was the first of five in 16 days for Toronto. Next up are New England, Cincinnati, the Red Bulls and Atlanta.
Quentin Westberg made a marvellous save in the 30th minute, flying through the air to push Dutch-born Cape Verde international Jamiro Monteiro’s long-range shot off the crossbar. He then stopped Kacper Przybylko on the rebound but the play was called offside.
WATCH | Westberg’s marvelous heroics:
Morrow, who turns 33 Sunday, gave way to Gallacher in the 39th minute after going down. A trainer iced his right calf on the sidelines as the veteran fullback held his head in his hands. Altidore exited early in the 53rd minute after grabbing the back of his left thigh as he went for a ball.
Impact snap skid
Robert Beric and Francisco Calvo scored to help the Chicago Fire to a 2-2 draw with the Montreal Impact at Red Bull Arena.
Calvo scored an empty-netter to pull Chicago even at 2-2 in the 73rd minute. Alvaro Medran floated an entry that goalkeeper Clement Diop deflected to Calvo for a header inside the far post.
Chicago (4-7-4) is unbeaten in its last three games with two wins.
Beric rolled in a side-netter to give Chicago a 1-0 lead in the 15th. Djordje Mihailovic stepped in front of a pass by Diop and deflected it to Beric, who turned and fired from the right side of the box. He has scored in five consecutive games, tying David Accam’s franchise record set in 2017.
Lassi Lappalainen chipped into an open net to make it 1-1 in the 22nd minute. Bojan Krkic ripped a right-footer from the corner of the area which Bobby Shuttleworth stopped, but Lappalainen put away the rebound.
Maximiliano Urruti redirected a blocked shot by Zachary Brault-Guillard into the net to give the Impact a 2-1 lead in the 67th.
WATCH | Impact, Fire split points:
Montreal (5-8-2) is winless, with four losses, in its last five games.
Whitecaps fall to surging Sounders
Joao Paulo and Raul Ruidiaz scored for the Sounders on Saturday, helping Seattle to a 3-1 victory over the slumping Vancouver Whitecaps.
Defender Erik Godoy added an own goal during a disastrous 15-minute stretch for the ‘Caps (5-10-0).
Fredy Montero had the lone goal for Vancouver, which has now dropped three games in a row.
The victory marked Seattle’s fourth win in five games and gave the Sounders sole possession of first place in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference.
WATHC | Caps endure tough night against Sounders:
Vancouver was forced to play down a man after defender Janio Bikel was given a red card for catching Gustav Svennson in the chest with his studs in the 68th minute.
Whitecaps ‘keeper Bryan Meredith was tested often in the contest, stopping 7-of-9 on-target shots. Stefan Frei had a single save for the Sounders (8-3-3).
After a scoreless first half, Seattle got on the board in the 46th minute when Paulo beat a diving Meredith with a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box.
The goal set off a troublesome stretch for the ‘Caps.
Five minutes later, Vancouver’s Lucas Cavallini was booked for a late tackle on Kelvin Leerdam. The Canadian striker will now miss the Whitecaps matchup with the San Jose Earthquakes in California on Wednesday.
The difficulties grew in the 53rd minute following a cross from Seattle’s Cristian Roldan. Meredith got a piece of the pass but couldn’t control the ball, which hit a stationary Godoy in front of the Vancouver net and bounced in for an own goal.
The Sounders widened the lead once again in the 59th minute when a ball hit Seattle’s Jordan Morris in the back off a corner, then bounced to Ruidiaz. The Peruvian headed in for his 30th goal in a Sounders jersey.