Two goals in the final ten minutes see the spoils shared between TFC and Vancouver
It wasn’t easy or pretty, but Toronto FC emerged from an all-Canadian clash with a crucial point on Friday evening.
Despite outplaying the Vancouver Whitecaps throughout much of the game, the Reds settled for a 1-1 draw thanks to a late goal from midfielder Nick Leon.
“I think we deserved three points. But we’ll take the one. We’ve been in a rut and it’s a positive result away from home for us,” said TFC’s Jozy Altidore.
Toronto are on a six-game winless streak and haven’t posted a victory since May 4th. However, there were moments of brilliance on Friday that will give the team hope moving forward.
“We definitely can build off of this. There’s a lot of good characteristics, a lot of good play overall for our guys,” said DeLeon. “It’s definitely a stepping stone for us to move in the right direction and get three points next week at home.
“A loss really would have deflated a lot of guys. Just to fight back with how much time was on the clock I think was big for us.”
TFC ‘keeper Quentin Westberg was tested on several occasions. However, he didn’t have to register a single save for the Reds.
Vancouver’s Maxime Crepeau saved four of TFC’s five shots on-target.
Coach Marc Dos Santos called the result a fair one. However, he said that he didn’t like how his Whitecaps played for the first 45 minutes of the game.
“Once we got possession in their half, especially in the first half, it was sloppy, bad decision making on the ball, missed passes. It wasn’t good,” he said. “In my opinion, I think it was probably our worst first half this year.”
On Friday, Vancouver’s offence finally sparked into life late in the second half. When striker Yordy Reyna picked off a TFC pass midfield and powered towards the net. He wound up for a shot in the centre of the box but was tripped up by TFC’s Drew Moor. The referee showed no hesitation and awarded the penalty.
Whitecaps striker Fredy Montero took the spot-kick and put away his fifth goal of the season.
TFC coach Greg Vanney put the onus for the goal on his own side.
“We were the architects of our own demise on their goal, giving the ball away in a bad spot. And obviously, a very fast player in transition puts us in a tough situation,” he said.
Toronto responded six minutes later following a nice passing sequence between Marco Delgado and Jozy Altidore.
Delgado got the ball off to DeLeon and the midfielder sent a long shot bouncing past a diving Crepeau.
Goals have been hard to come by for TFC lately. However, Vanney is convinced that his team’s fortunes will change sooner rather than later.
“We’ve got to stick with it and I do believe that the goal tide is going to come,” Vanney said. “It’s going to come if we keep working, keep pushing the tempo.”
Friday’s game was the ‘Caps last contest before the FIFA international break. Vancouver won’t play again until June 22nd, when they face the visiting Colorado Rapids.
TFC will be back in action on June 7th when they host Sporting Kansas City.
Toronto FC have moved the game’s start time so that their fans can also cheer on the Toronto Raptors. Kickoff will now happen at 7 p.m. local time and the stadium will stay open after the matchup so the crowd can watch the Raptors take on the Golden State Warriors in Game Four of the NBA Finals.