Toronto FC Clinch Playoff Spot with Fifth Straight Victory
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, October 12, 2020
Toronto FC clinched a playoff spot tonight after defeating FC Cincinnati 1-0 and extending their win streak to five matches.
Toronto had a different look in their starting-XI: Quentin Westberg in-goal; Richie Laryea, Omar Gonzalez, Eriq Zavaleta, and Auro Jr. on the backline; Liam Fraser, Marky Delgado, Jayden Nelson, Alejandro Pozuelo, and Jonathan Osorio, who served as captain in Michael Bradley’s absence, in the midfield; and Patrick Mullins as the strikers up-top.
Toronto were successful in controlling the tempo of play in the first half; they had 60% possession and found some openings through Cincinnati’s defense with their passing. It took just under 30 minutes for Toronto to get on the scoresheet as Mullins received a nice through ball from Laryea and struck the ball past Cincinnati goalkeeper Tyton.
Just when it looked as though Toronto were on their way to closing out the match and securing the three points, a foul was called in Toronto’s box after Gonzalez pushed off Allan Cruz to clear away a scoring opportunity, which resulted in a penalty being awarded.
Fortunately for Toronto, the referee decided to take another look and after video review, he felt that no foul took place and reversed the decision. After another close call that saw substitute Laurent Ciman almost score an own goal, Toronto held on until the final whistle and secured all three points.
Tonight’s match was a great opportunity for Nelson to get some more minutes under his belt in the starting-Xi and provide a better indicator of his progression as a pro. The 18-year old Canadian was making his first official MLS start; the match he starting during the MLS is Back Tournament was not considered an official match as it had taken place in the knockout rounds and only the group stage play was counted towards the league standings.
Nelson and Fraser getting some time in the starting-XI is positive for their growth and Toronto as a whole because if they continue to perform well when they are given the opportunity to start, Vanney will be able to rest more of the team’s starters more often and at the same time, provide him with more options going forward in terms of tactics and possible changes to his formation depending on the opponent.
Toronto will look to make it six straight on Wednesday, when they take on the New York Red Bulls.
Photo Credit: Toronto FC