Jozy Altidore scores winner as Toronto FC beat the New England Revolution 3-2
It couldn’t have been scripted any better by a big-shot Hollywood producer.
Only 12 minutes into his first taste of game action this season and veteran Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore scored in the 80th minute to lift the Reds to a 3-2 victory over the New England Revolution on Sunday night at chilly BMO Field.
“To be able to come on and score a winner in a game like that. It’s a great feeling,” Altidore said.
Altidore, who was yet to play this year after undergoing surgery in October to remove a bone fragment from his right ankle. Managed to redirect a pass from Justin Morrow into the back of the net to lift the Reds to the win. Ensuring their second win in as many MLS contests this season.
Altidore was substituted into the game in the 68th minute for Jordan Hamilton. Prompting a huge ovation from the BMO Field crowd.
Cue the heroics.
Earlier this month, the 29-year-old signed a three-year contract extension with TFC. Meaning not a bad couple of weeks for the TFC fan favorite.
“It’s fantastic,” Altidore said of the crowd reception. “Everyone knows how much I love being here. And how much I love playing for these fans. For this city. To have that reciprocated back, it’s a great feeling because I just want to just keep giving more.”
Altidore credited a pair of young forwards, Ayo Akinola and Hamilton, for getting the Reds off on the right foot in the match. Both scored in the first half. For Akinola, his first MLS strike. For Hamilton, a goal on his 23rd birthday.
“(My) goal happens because of Ayo. Ayo makes a fantastic run. For a young kid, the poise, the maturity he played with tonight was important. We needed that. We were pressed for numbers up front and these two showed to me that, quite frankly. Because they’re ready,” Altidore said. “They’re itching to go and (Akinola) runs makes the goal because if he doesn’t clear that space, there’s no tap-in.
“I kick their ass every day (in training) and they’d be the first to tell you (that) because I see a potential there. I see a generational talent in Jordan Hamilton, who for me is already one of the best Canadian strikers, if not THE best. He needs to show that. And Ayo, even from last year you saw glimpses, and I think he’s made a huge leap this year already,” Altidore added of the two young forwards.
Meanwhile, Toronto defender Chris Mavinga was beaten cleanly one-on-one by Teal Bunbury in the penalty area and Mavinga responded by taking him out from behind, drawing a foul. Therefore Carles Gil scored on the penalty kick in the ninth minute, putting the Revolution ahead 1-0.
However, Akinola, 19, tied the match in brilliant fashion in the 14th minute. Before Reds jumped ahead on an easy goal by Hamilton on a nice feed in the box from Jay Chapman in the 45th minute. Immediately after the goal, the Revolution players went after referee Ted Unkel, arguing that there should have been an offside call. Therefore play carried on with the complaints after the whistle had gone to end the half, to no avail. Meanwhile, Gil was given a yellow card for his persistent whining. However, New England continued to complain as the second half was about to get underway.
Also, Chapman had assists on both TFC goals in the first half.
Gil picked up the brace in the 52nd minute when he launched a shot that skipped past Toronto defenders Auro and Drew Moor to tie it 2-2.
Toronto’s next match is on March 29 against NYCFC at BMO Field.