Photo courtesy Penn FC
HARRISBURG, Penn. — A stoppage time penalty gave Penn FC a dramatic 3-2 win over Toronto FC II at FNB Field on Saturday night. In the seventh minute of stoppage time, Jerry Ortiz stepped up and sent the ball right up the middle to seal the victory. Despite a strong start from the hosts, it was Toronto that opened the scoring as the Penn defense broke down which allowed Ayo Akinola to run through and get on the end of Mariano Miño’s through-ball and he slid the ball home for a shock opener. After going behind Penn FC pushed to find an equalizer to get back into the match but could not beat a stern Toronto defense before halftime. The hosts took that momentum into the second half, determined to get on level terms, and in the 53rd minute that pressure told. A high looping cross from Kyle Venter found captain Ken Tribbett who was left unmarked in the middle of the box which allowed the Penn FC defender to head home with too much power for Toronto goalkeeper Gianluca Catalano. Just two minutes later Tribbett did it again, this time from a corner sent in by Richard Menjivar that he headed into the bottom-left corner of the net. Just when it seemed the game was getting away from Toronto the visitors equalized, as second-half substitute Malik Johnson had a big influence on the game with one of his first touches of the ball when he laid it square for Jordan Hamilton, who shot powerfully across the face and into the back of the net. But Penn pushed hard in the closing stages of the match and was rewarded with the dramatic win.
13’ – TOR - Ayo Akinola (Mariano Miño)
53’ – PEN – Ken Tribbett (Kyle Venter)
55’ – PEN – Ken Tribbett (Richard Menjivar)
68’ – TOR – Jordan Hamilton (Malik Johnson)
90+7’ – PEN – Jerry Ortiz (Penalty Kick)
Three Things That Matter:
1. It’s been difficult for Toronto FC II this season, and this match looked like changing things as it seemed the visitors would take a point only to lose in heartbreaking fashion. While TFC II has rectified its goal-scoring woes, having scored nine goals in its past five matches keeping teams out has proven difficult, the club conceding 17 in the same stretch.
2. Coming into this match Penn FC had not won a match when conceding a goal, but this time the players kept their heads up after going behind. It took time but the pressure eventually told with Tribbett’s two goals, before the side kept the pressure up after conceding again and was rewarded with the goal.
3. It may be simplifying the play for Penn but it’s clear Tribbett’s head is a weapon for the hosts, having scored three goals in two weeks the defender has proven a vital target on set pieces which is where most goals are coming from for the club.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Ken Tribbett, Penn FC — Coming up from the back to score two headed goals was only part of a strong performance from the Penn FC captain who won six aerial duels and made five interceptions in an impressive end-to-end game.
Penn FC vs. Richmond Kickers — June 12, 7p.m. ET, FNB Field
Toronto FC II vs. Indy Eleven — June 16, 7p.m. ET, Marina Auto Stadium