Toronto FC Miss Out on Three Points as D.C. Score Late Equalizer
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, September 20, 2020
After a series of matches against Canadian clubs, Toronto FC began their next phase of matches when they took on DC United, who have become a rival for the club as of late.
A few bad giveaways cost Toronto FC a win on Saturday night as D.C. United’s teenage striker, Griffin Yao, took advantage of a poorly timed pass and scored a late equalizer, to secure one point at home. This was disappointing for Toronto because they were up 2-1 and failed to close out their opponent, which has become an ongoing issue for the club and frustrating for the coaching staff when taking into account the quality of players in the lineup.
Toronto did not get off to a great start: D.C. striker Ola Kamara scored in the fifth minute to give his team the quick lead and put pressure on Toronto to play from behind early on.
Fortunately for Toronto, they evened the score in the 17th minute after D.C. were not able defend Richie Laryea’s free kick, which resulted in Alejandro Pozuelo striking a nicely placed shot past Bill Hamid. This was a good sign for Toronto because they were able to respond and not allow the match to get out of hand after giving up the early goal 12 minutes earlier.
Toronto coach Greg Vanney subbed off Jozy Altidore for Ayo Akinola at the start of the second half, where he made an immediate impact on the match. In the 60th minute, Vanney’s decision to sub on Akinola paid off as he headed the ball past Hamid following a cross from Pablo Piatti, to give Toronto the 2-1 lead and the momentum in their favour towards the end of the match.
Vanney made a few more slight adjustments later in the match such as adding a third centre back to provide more stability and structure on the back-line however, that did not go according to plan as D.C. found a way to both score and get the draw.
During his post-match media availability, Vanney gave his thoughts on what went wrong tonight and what he saw in the team’s effort:
“Guys were moving around into bad spots at random and it means that everybody becomes random and I don’t know anybody that was effective the way they should be in the first half to be frank.”
Although Vanney was not too impressed with the first half, he did have some praise for the way Akinola, who subbed into the match and scored his sixth goal of the season:
“Ayo came on and there was more structure around the field: the spaces that he needed to show up in were clearer and better, and he was able to get through and we were able to get him involved more and obviously, he stayed busy and active as he does and found himself in a good spot and scored a great goal.”
This is concerning because Altidore, who is one of the club’s DPs, is heavily relied on to provide offense for Toronto and has yet to find consistency in terms of matches played since the MLS restarted play with the MLS is Back Tournament.
Toronto are back in action on Wednesday, when they take on New York City FC at Red Bull Arena.
Photo Credit: Toronto FC