TORONTO - When the halftime whistle blew at BMO Field, the Union appeared to be on the way toward by far their most impressive win of the season.
By the end of the game, the Union had to settle for just the most entertaining win - and the most goals scored in a game in the club's relatively short history.
After scoring three goals in the first half - including two in the first 11 minutes - the Union gave up two goals early in the second half, then scored three more in the last half hour in a 6-2 win over Toronto FC.
"Everyone has been talking about how we haven't scored too many goals, but I think we proved them wrong in this game," said midfielder Gabriel Farfan, who scored the Union's first goal.
In just the second minute, Farfan got open in the middle of the 18-yard box and positioned himself well to chest down a cross from Jordan Harvey. Farfan settled the ball, shook off Toronto defender Dan Gargan - a Philadelphia native - and calmly fired past goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
The Union (6-3-2, 20 points) doubled their lead in the 11th minute thanks in part to some opportunistic defending. Justin Mapp picked off a weak clearance from Ty Harden near midfield but lost control of the ball. It bounced to Kyle Nakazawa, who slid to beat Julian de Guzman to the ball and redirect it back into Mapp's path. Mapp ran forward to about 23 yards from goal, then ripped a shot that buzzed along the grass and past a diving Frei.
The Union made it 3-0 in the 45th minute with a pretty passing sequence. Sebastien Le Toux and Mapp played a give-and-go on the left flank, then Le Toux passed to Danny Mwanga in a central position near the top of the 18-yard box. Mwanga backheeled the ball into the path of an onrushing Nakazawa for an easy finish.
"It shows that anyone on our team can step and put the ball into the back of the net," Nakazawa said of the team's fluid attacking play. "It's an answer to all our critics who were asking when the goals were going to come."
Toronto (2-5-6, 12 points) got the second half off to a lively start, scoring in the 50th minute. Maicon Santos led a breakaway off a long through ball from Danleigh Borman, and Union goalie Faryd Mondragon came well outside the 18-yard box to try to break up the play. Santos easily got around Mondragon and slotted the ball into the empty net.
That woke up the announced crowd of 20,122, which included a sizeable delegation of traveling Union fans. Prior to that point, the only real noise the home fans had made was a chorus of boos as their team left the field at halftime.
Toronto made it 3-2 in the 59th minute after a stunning gaffe by Le Toux. Stuck deep in his own half of the field, Le Toux passed the ball directly to the feet of Borman, who sent a cross low through the 18-yard box and onto the foot of a wide-open Santos.
The Union answered right away. In the 62d minute, Mapp intercepted another poor Toronto clearance, raced down the left flank, and blasted a ferocious shot past Frei from 20 yards to make it 4-2.
" was on my left foot and the defenders were backing up, so I let it fire," Mapp said.
Mwanga put the game out of reach in the 72d minute, volleying a Le Toux corner kick into the net from seven yards out. Mwanga completed the scoring in the 89th minute with an easy finish of a setup pass from Mapp.
"We all knew what we are capable of," Mwanga said. "Today, the hard work paid off."