Piatti Scores Brace in Dominant Win Over Whitecaps
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Pablo Piatti put his talents on full display by scoring two goals in Toronto FC’s dominant 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps and showcased why he was brought to Toronto.
This is the first of a series of matchups between Canadian MLS clubs Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps, and the Montreal Impact. These games are significant because under the modified Canadian Championship format, the team with the most points following these matchups will advance to the finals, where they will play the winner of the Canadian Premier League’s Island Games tournament. The finals will be one match and the winner will receive a spot in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League.
Toronto head coach Greg Vanney went with a 4-4-1-1 formation in his starting-XI: Quentin Westberg starting in-goal; Auro Jr., Omar Gonzalez, Chris Mavinga, and Richie Laryea on the backline; Jonathan Osorio, Marky Delgado, Pablo Piatti, and captain Michael Bradley in the midfield; Alejandro Pozuelo as a central forward and attacking midfielder; and Jozy Altidore as the lone striker.
There might not have been fans allowed inside BMO Field, but that did not stop supporters from showing up to support the club outside BMO Field. The group of supporters let their voices be heard as they cheered on the club and made the atmosphere have that feeling of a home-field advantage.
Toronto’s quality of play was an improvement from their MLS is Back Tournament play, which ended with them being eliminated by New York City FC in the quarterfinals.
The midfield was really clicking early in the match for Toronto and Pozuelo did an excellent job in his role as a central attacking midfielder in creating plays as well as supporting Altidore’s runs up top as a second striker. The team’s offensive flowed nicely and did not look sloppy, which was a great sign for Vanney and his staff especially considering the club had not played a match in almost a month.
During his post-match media availability, Vanney spoke on the club’s performance on the defensive end and the importance of tonight’s clean sheet:
“By in large, I thought our attentiveness to just some details was far better than it was in Orlando. I think again in Orlando, just with the weather, I felt like guys were individually sort of taking these moments to rest at wrong times. Tonight, guys weren’t – they were getting into good spots. They were in good spots to deal with these transitions that a team like Vancouver with so much speed and strength in the counterattack that can hurt you, we dealt with most of them very well. There was a couple still that we mismanaged and we’ll look at those but much better tonight than it was in Orlando.”
Piatti opened the scoring in the 27th minute, when he dribbled the ball and struck spectacular shot that beat goalkeeper to put Toronto up 1-0. Piatti was not done there as he added a second goal in the 55th minute after a nice pass from Osorio, to cap off a memorable home debut.
Nick DeLeon added a goal in the 83rd minute to seal the 3-0 victory over Vancouver.
This was not the best of matches for the Whitecaps, who had performed quite well in the MLS is Back Tournament last month; Toronto had plenty of scoring opportunities and at time were getting by the Whitecaps’ defense too easily.
Toronto and Vancouver are back in action this Friday, when they play the second of three matches against one another at BMO Field.
Photo Credit: Toronto FC