Ayo Akinola on target as Toronto FC defeat Philadelphia Union



The American-Canadian of Nigerian descent put on his scoring boots once again to gift his side all three points

Ayo Akinola scored his second goal of the MLS regular season with Toronto FC securing a 2-1 win over Philadelphia Union.

The Canadian outfit has been enjoying a resurgence in America’s premier soccer competition after suffering back-to-back defeats against rivals Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps. Since then, they have seen off Impact, drawn against DC United and beaten New York City FC and also Columbus Crew.

Akinola last scored in the draw with DC and Toronto started on the backfoot against the Union with Brazilian forward Sergio Santos getting the opening goal in the just the fifth minute of play, lobbing the ball over Andre Blake in goal.

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58′ | AYO AT THE BACK POST!!!

1-1 | #TORvPHI | #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/NDiLrRrGZ0

— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) October 4, 2020

The next goal in the match would not arrive until the 58th minute and it came courtesy of Akinola’s equaliser. Tony Gallacher floated in a long cross on the left flank which instantly met the head of Akinola to finish off the rest.

Toronto made it 2-1 eight minutes later and it came via Alejandro Pozuelo who was assisted by former Valencia winger Pablo Piatti.

Akinola played for 86 minutes and had 24 touches, 11 accurate passes (65%), and three total shots, his goal being the only one on target while the other two were blocked.

87’ | Double change.

↪️ @tsubasa_endoh
↩️ Pablo Piatti

↪️ @pmullins14
↩️ Ayo Akinola

2-1 | #TORvPHI | #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/W1E5shwf9Q

— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) October 4, 2020

Akinola’s international allegiance has been in the spotlight lately and he is reportedly poised to play for Canada, however, the United States coach Gregg Berhalter doesn’t want to give up hope on the 20-year-old who has been capped at youth level for the country he was born in.

“I’ve spoken to Ayo a number of times and, again, for us it’s about creating an environment that players want to be in,” Berhalter was quoted saying on the MLS website.

“Hopefully we show them that, hopefully, we get the opportunity to show them that. He’s been in our youth programs, he was a big part of the Under-20 program and the Under-17s.

“So, he’s a guy that we consider part of our program, if he were to change it [to Canada] would be a disappointment because he has been such a large part of our youth programs. But we want the opportunity to prove we have a great environment for him to continue to develop, hopefully, we get that.”





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