Whitecaps at Toronto FC Battle To A Bloody 2-2 Draw
The Whitecaps at Toronto FC played to a 2-2 draw Saturday afternoon from Orlando. Toronto would jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the first half. A crazy action-packed second half saw things end 2-2, with Vancouver stealing a point on the road. Despite getting the point, the team would probably feel like it deserved all 3 points.
Toronto was able to equalize in the 83rd minute thanks to some bad bounces and Jonathan Osorio being in the right place at the right time. Vancouver had some great chances late but would settle for the 1 point on the road. For the lineups and pregame notes check out right here.
The first half started out slow but things picked up in the second. Let's take a look at how the Whitecaps at Toronto FC thrilling 2-2 draw went down.
Toronto Scores Early In An Even 1st Half Against The Whitecaps
The Whitecaps at Toronto FC would kick off the game but promptly give the ball away to Toronto. The Reds would win an early corner, just 2 minutes into the match, but Vancouver was able to clear the outswinger. Toronto would start the game off as the more aggressive team. They controlled play and Michael Bradley tried to pick out Richie Laryea down the right side. Lucas Cavallini would win a free-kick off the clearance from Maxime Crepeau but it was Vancouver's turn to send a ball long.
Ranko Veselinovic would miss a pass and turn it over before Cristian Gutierrez would foul Laryea. He was shown a yellow card and While several Vancouver players were arguing about the call, Michael Bradley took the free-kick quickly. He would find Jayden Nelson streaking down the wing. His clipped ball would go off Nerwinksi and get headed to the back post by Patrick Mullins. Maxime Crepeau would make a great save on the Omar Gonzalez header but it would fall right in front. Luke Singh would volley it into the net for his first career MLS goal and Toronto FC was up 1-0.
The Whitecaps would start to control play and try and penetrate the Toronto backline. Gutierrez would find Cava on a run in the 9th minute but Singh would clear it out of touch. With the 1-0 lead, Toronto was happy to let Vancouver play on the ball. One of the reasons for this was poor turnovers by Toronto when they did get it. Deiber Caicedo would jump in front of a pass from Singh and move in on the counter. With Dajome streaking down the right, he went with the opposite option finding Cavallini on the left. He would get a shot off that was blocked out of play for the Whitecaps first corner.
The ball was headed up and keeper Alex Bono jumped up to get it. Toronto would give it right back to Vancouver minutes later. After a turnover in the 17th minute, Baldismio would make a great first pass to Cavallini. He would hold up the ball and then find Dajome on the run. Dajome was forced to the outside of the box but was able to get a shot that Bono had to dive out for. Vancouver would get another set-piece opportunity in the 19th minute after Janio Bikel was hauled down. Toronto would clear the initial ball in and then clear the second chance.
TFC would get the next real chance in the 23rd minute, but a low cross was cleared out by Ranko for a corner. Marky Delgado would go to the training ground play and it gave him lots of space but his cross was headed clear by Cavallini and away from danger. Things would start to get sloppy for both teams as passes were bouncing off players and out of touch. Toronto would get a chance to double their lead in the 27th minute when Deleon played the referee's advantage and cut into the middle. He tried to cut his show back across the net but was wide of the mark.
After the hydration break, TFC would continue to push for a second goal. The ball would come to Bradley in the middle and he would send an easy shot right into the number of Crepeau. As the 1st half would go on Vancouver's counterattack would start to look more and more dangerous. After one fizzled out in the 33rd minute, Cristina Dajome would get fouled in the 35th minute. It was just outside the box and both Cavallini and Deiber Caicedo would stand over the ball. Deiber would fire a shot just off target but Alex Bono wasn't taking any chances and deflected it out for a corner.
The ball was sent in by Gutierrez right to the front post and it was flicked out of play for a corner on the other side. The next corner was to the back post and headed into the box by Dajome but Toronto was able to clear. They would send a deep ball into the Vancouver end and Maxime Crepeau and Gutierrez got their wires crossed a bit. The ball was knocked out for a TFC corner. Vancouver would clear but TFC would press for the rest of the half. Andy Rose had to head one away before Crepeau was forced off his line to punch out a cross.
Rose would make another nice play defensively to end the half as the whistle would blow after the 2 added minutes. The first half would end with Toronto FC up 1-0. The half was very evenly matched with both teams having 50% possession. Vancouver had some nice looks on the counterattack but couldn't get that final pass to go. Vancouver had 81.8% passing accuracy in the first half while TFC was at 85.3%.
Crazy Second Half Whitecaps at Toronto FC Ends In A 2-2 Draw
The Whitecaps at Toronto FC started the second half and Chris Armas would make the only substitution. Justin Morrow would replace Jayden Nelson for the Reds. The second half would start chirpy with some quick fouls by both teams. The first chance of the second half came in the 50th minute when Delgado would find Mullins at the back post. Mullins decided to volley it and his shot was well off target and out for a goal kick. Vancouver would look to hold the ball but their Serbian CB was not making smart decisions. First, a long ball to Dajome that ran right to Alex Bono and then a switch of play that sailed out of touch.
After the Whitecaps would win the ball back in the 54th minute Dajome would get tumbled over and win a free-kick. He took it quickly and found Cavallini on the left side who looked like he had nowhere to go. He would burst to the outside and beat Laryea before taking on another TFC player in the box. Trying to get back into position Laryea took Cavallini down in the box and referee Jair Marrufo instantly pointed to the penalty spot. Cristian Dajome would take it for Vancouver and beat Alex Bono who guessed the right way. It was just a perfectly placed shot off the post and in and the Whitecaps at Toronto Fc was tied 1-1.
The goal seemed to spark Vancouver as they would continue pressing looking for the lead. Dajome did some more great work down the wing and cut it across for Cavallini but he was a toes length away from the ball and it rolled out the other side in the 60th minute. With the Whitecaps on the attack, there were spaces left open at the back and Toronto almost took advantage as Delgado would float one into the back post. Vancouver would clear only as far as Noble Okello, his shot was nowhere near target, and Chris Armas would make 3 more subs.
Jonathan Osorio would come on for Deleon, Jacob Shaffelburg would replace Ayro and, Jozy Altidore would come on for Patrick Mullins in the 61st minute. The subs would make an immediate impact as Shaffelburg would get a shot off of Nerwinski for a TFC corner. Osorio would deliver it in and Crepeau had to come off his line and punch it away from danger. The 2nd chance was cleared by Ranko to Caicedo and he was fouled hard by Bradley. Bradley was shown his second yellow card in as many games in the 64th minute. Vancouver would waste the possession sending it out long for a goal kick.
Toronto would try and get the ball back in but Vancouver was able to dispose of them. Russell Teibert was sent to chase a long ball but was taken down hard by Gonzalez who was shown a yellow card in the 70th minute. Baldisimo and Gutierrez would stand over the free-kick and after Baldy would run past Guti delivered a beautiful ball right into the box. Andy Rose was able to climb the highest and head it off the ground and past Bono who had no chance. Vancouver would take a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute. It was Cristian Gutierrez's second assist of the young season something he mentioned in media this week.
Janio Bikel was fouled in the 72nd minute and would be subbed for at the hydration break shortly after. Caio Alexandre would make his MLS and Whitecaps debut coming on in the 75th minute. After both teams would send the ball back and forth on long passes Chris Armas would make another change. Ayo Akinola would come on to replace Okello in the 78th minute as TFC would press to level things up. After a corner by Vancouver was fumbled slightly by Alex Bono Toronto would move up the pitch with purpose.
In the 83rd minute the Whitecaps were under duress but unable to clear the ball. Andy Rose was given one chance but it wasn't out of danger. Cue up the most unfortunate event of sequences as Bradley would clip the ball in, Andy Rose would look to clear it but it went right off the face of Michael Baldisimo and to Jonathan Osorio. He would have been offside but it was played off of a Vancouver player. His shot was stopped by Crepeau but the ball went up in the air and bounced down just before the line and a diving Crepeau wasn't able to swat it out. The Whitecaps at Toronto FC were tied 2-2.
Toronto would almost take the lead shortly after but Maxime Crepeau was able to get across and knock the Shaffelburg volley off the post and out for a corner. The Whitecaps were able to defend the corner and bring on subs in the 87th minute. Bruno Gaspar would make his Whitecaps debut and replace Baldisimo, while a defensive change brining on Derek Cornelius for Deiber Caicedo. TFC would continue the pressure and made Crepeau leave his line once again to gobble up a cross from Shaffelburg in the 89th minute. The 4th official would indicate an additional 6 minutes so we were in for a fun finish.
Vancouver was doing there best to hold on to the 2-2 draw as they switched into 5 at the back. In the 93rd minute Torotno had a chance when Bradley would find Shaffelburg but his aim had been off most of the night and it was way wide. Marc Dos Santos would make one finale sub bringing on Ryan Raposo for Dajome and it almost gave Vancouver all 3 points...
Cavallini was able to get on a long ball from Gutierrez and make a great pass to a streaking Raposo. Raposo moved in on Alex Bono and went across the net but Bono was just able to get a hand and steer it out for a corner. It was the save of the match for sure as the score would stay 2-2. Vancouver would get one more chance as Ranko Veselinovic would get a free header on the ensuing corner but would put it over the bar. Toronto would get one more corner to no avial before things would end a bit bloody.
Russell Teibert would take an elbow right before the final whistle from Delgado. He was heated after the whistle with TFC's Michael Bradley but cooler heads would prevail. The Whitecaps at Toronto FC would end in a 2-2 draw with both teams taking 1 point. It was a good but disappointing result for the Whitecaps who probably feel they should have come away with all 3 points.
Post Game Media and Thoughts From The Whitecaps
After the match Head Coach Marc Dos Santos gave his thoughts on the 2-2 draw against Toronto FC.
“I think that in the first half it wasn’t a bad half, I can’t call it a bad half in the circumstance of the weather and the humidity, I agree the game is a good game for the fans, it was a roller-coaster, it was kind of an equal game. When you’re playing a team like TFC you can’t give goals away like that to them. Then we spoke the moments we needed to be better, to build up better, to push up better, to get Baldi more involved."
"When we tied the game the team grew in confidence, it was a team that thought we could get the three points. When they tied the game, we never felt that threatened, we made a sub. I’m really upset that we conceded the second goal, it was just a very unlucky goal to concede. The game changed when it became 2-2, when you get players like Altidore and Osorio it changes the game. We had two great chances at the end from Ryan and Cava. It would’ve been great to get one of those in.”
Andy Rose wasn't happy about either of the goals that Vancouver conceded, especially his poor clearance.
"Mixed thoughts. The two goals we conceded are sloppy, are very preventable. Obviously, the second one off Baldi I could’ve done better with. Frustrated with that but I feel like to come down from 1-0 down, to be in a difficult environment against a team like them, to come back to lead 2-1, there’s a lot of positives to build on early in the season."
On if he was surprised by the fighting spirit of the squad despite still being shorthanded.
“I’m not surprised because everything we saw in preseason with a lot of guys missing in preseason with everything we went through, we go down, and not conceding a second goal helped us a lot. We trust guys like Cava, Dajo, and Caicedo to get forward, they’re full of quality. I told the group at halftime to stay calm, that we would continue creating chances. The whole group has a spirit that we didn’t have last season. We’ve got a lot of quality.”
Cristian Dajome was up next with "Seabass" doing the translation (Sorry Seb it's stuck). He spoke about his thoughts on the match.
"I thought it was a hard game against a tough opponent with a lot of quality. We put up a great performance. I thought, during the game we attacked well through the middle, and we had to create more through the middle. That's where I did most of my damage there, so I thought we could have done a little bit better, penetrating through the middle."
I asked Cristian about his chemistry with Cavallini that has carried over from the end of last season.
"Yeah, he's a great player, a great person, him and my family are always together. Every day we're doing our best to get to know each other on and off the field, we're trying to get to know each other’s qualities on the field as well, as we did last year. But the most important thing is to try and make that relationship produce on the field as well, so that means more goals for me and more goals for him. That's the main goal with our relationship."
The Unnamed Moments Of The Match
We have a fair bit to choose from today as The Unnamed Moments of the Match. There were some crazy bounces and a lot of excitement in the second half. Two Whitecaps were bleeding by the end of the game. Cavallini was on music duties post game and more.
The Unnamed Goal Of The Match
The Whitecaps were down 1-0 after the first half. Thanks to a quick free-kick by Cristian Dajome to Cavallini who would barrel past multiple defenders to earn the penalty kick. Dajome would step up with a beautifully placed shot that beat Bono.
The Unnamed What The? Of The Match
The second goal for Toronto FC was a bit of a strange one. So why not add the Bennie Hill theme to make it really stand out...
There are so many people to feel bad for on this goal. Andy Rose for the bad clearance, Michael Baldisimo's face, and of course, Crepeau. Who just can't get enough of the ball to send it wide.
The Unnamed Media Moment Of The Match
I may or not be biased when I choose these but today I am picking myself. After Javier asked specially about Dajome, MDS hates player-specific questions, I had to also ask a specific player question after he mentioned he told the team to turn the music on and be happy about the result.
The Unnamed Special Moment Of The Match
There was a loss in the Vancouver Whitecaps family as former kid captain Dani Hoult passed away from her battle with Cancer. Head Coach Marc Dos Santos wore an armband with her name on it all match and spoke about it after.
"I want to make sure I highlight this. When I heard this story it broke my heart. As a club and us in the locker room, we can’t change anything, but we feel for the parents and we send them all our love, our strength. It's hard for me to be talking about this now, but Danielle, everybody, we love them and we give strength to the parents, that's what we can do as a club and we’re just there for them and I hope they could heal in the right way.”
The entire Sports Talk Line organization sends thoughts and love to the family and friends during these times.
The Sports Talk Line Network And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The Whitecaps played to a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon. 4 out of 6 points in the first two games of the season against the Portland Timbers and TFC. You could call this a good start to the season. The Whitecaps will return to their temporary home of Utah as they take on the Colorado Rapids next Sunday at 7:00 pm PST. Toronto FC is off from MLS play this week as they have the 1st leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final.
For all the latest Whitecaps news and information make sure to follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0. I will keep you up to date with training updates, interviews, articles and so much more. Also, check everything out right here on the Sports Talk Line Website. Make sure to create a profile and join our completely interactive website. It's basically social media for sports.
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