Robert Earnshaw, the Zambian-born Welsh striker who only signed with Toronto FC on March 1, has quickly acclimated himself to his new teammates and has immediately emerged as one of the most prolific MLS scorers of 2013. Earnshaw notched yet another in Saturday afternoon’s showdown on the road against the Philadelphia Union. The goal, his fifth of the season, tied him with LA’s Mike Magee for the league lead in scoring. But a late equalizer from Jack McInerney, the fourth goal of the year for the young Union striker, kept him right behind Earnshaw and Magee in the scoring race and forced the visiting Reds to settle for a 1-1 draw at PPL Park.
Earnshaw’s goal came in the 71st minute against the run of play. Philadelphia keeper Zac MacMath, off his line, could only watch as the striker settled a long ball from Toronto left back Ashtone Morgan and chipped it overhead for the go-ahead score. Once again the transplant forward had exhibited his veteran touch on the ball, beating yet another MLS goalkeeper and proving worth every loonie the Canadian team spent to bring him into the fold.
To that point, Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik had also earned himself some hazard pay, suffering the majority of the workload but preventing every opportunity to head his way as Philadelphia barraged his net looking first for a lead and then after Earnshaw’s goal for an equalizer. Bendik would finish the contest with nine saves on his stat sheet, but it was the one he couldn’t nab in stoppage time that prevented that sheet from remaining clean.
After Morgan was sent off for his second bookable offense in the 88th minute, Toronto fought shorthanded against the pressure of Philadelphia’s attack. McInerney, who thought he had potted the leveler a few minutes before but had it waived off for interference with Bendik, finally got his mark in the 93rd minute. Despite coming so close to perfection, Bendik and the Reds had their winning point snatched away in the last moments of the match.
TORONTO FC @ PHILADELPHIA UNION
April 13, 2013
- 71′ — TOR/Robert Earnshaw (Ashtone Morgan)
- 93′ — PHI/Jack McInerney (Conor Casey)
- PHI (4-4-2): Zac MacMath; Raymon Gaddis (Kleberson/79′), Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams; Sebastien Le Toux (Antoine Hoppenot/73′), Keon Daniel, Brian Carroll, Danny Cruz (Michael Farfan/65′); Conor Casey, Jack McInerney
- TOR (4-4-2): Joe Bendik; Ashtone Morgan, Darren O’Dea, Gale Agbossoumonde, Darel Russell (Ryan Richter/7′); Reggie Lambe, Luis Silva (Jonathan Osorio/73′), Jeremy Hall, Hogan Ephraim; Justin Braun, Robert Earnshaw (John Bostock/86′)