SAN JOSE, Calif. – Toronto FC did not have a bad game but should have probably scored more goals in the game. This was especially the case in the first half. TFC had some splendid scoring chances but were unable to capitalize. They also probably deserved the win if it was not for the amazing goal scored by Oswaldo Alanis of the San Jose Earthquakes.
Toronto FC draw San Jose Earthquakes in Season Opener
Three Takeaways from the Game
Squandered Scoring Chances
It did feel that Toronto FC was not on the same page on the offensive end of the ball sometimes. For example, Toronto FC had a big opportunity to score in the eighth minute, but a bad pass spoiled the play.
There were also other instances like this where Toronto FC was unable to connect the final pass together in the front line. A lot of this has to do with players not thinking on the same page sometimes. This is probably temporary as players get used to their roles early in the season. TFC was the better team today, which included having a positive start.
Toronto FC showed their quality against the San Jose Earthquakes. They kept pressing for a goal, putting the San Jose Earthquakes backline under pressure. Then in the 39th minute, Jozy Altidore draws a foul from Andrés Rios. This gave Alejandro Pozuelo a penalty. He scored from the spot, with five minutes left in regular time in the first half.
According to the TSN broadcasters, Pozuelo is only the third TFC player to score a penalty in an MLS opener. Jozy Altidore scored a penalty against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2015. Sebastian Giovinco also accomplished this feat against the New York Red Bulls in 2016.
Toronto FC kept the pressure in the 51st minute and the result was scoring a scrappy goal. Pozuelo’s pass to Tsubasa Endoh allowed him to get a shot on the net. His shot was stopped, but second-half substitute Ritchie Laryea got the rebound and capitalized. Now it is a 2-0 TFC lead. However, in the 53rd minute, the Quakes came back with a goal of their own.
Toronto FC lets the San Jose Earthquakes Back in the Game
The San Jose Earthquakes scored just two minutes after Toronto FC scored a goal. The person credited with the pass was Cristian Espinoza. He made a cross to Toronto FC’s box and Rios deflected it for their first goal in the game. It felt like San Jose came back into the game after that and were more dangerous on the offensive side of the ball.
To Toronto FC’s credit they shut San Jose’s offence down and their defence played well. Guys like Justin Morrow, Omar Gonzalez, and Chris Mavinga stepped up for Toronto FC. Also, Toronto FC should not take full blame for conceding the second goal as very few players in MLS can score a free kick from that angle.
Toronto FC probably deserved to win today based on their performance. However, sometimes it happens. Some people may blame Endoh for giving the free-kick late in the game. The free-kick was at a bad angle though and very few MLS players can score a free kick from that angle. Alanis proved he was one of those few players as he tied the game against Toronto FC.
All in all, Toronto FC did what they have to do and got a point on the road. This was a positive result, especially with the injuries they had missing three key players in the game. This includes TFC captain Michael Bradley, designated player Pablo Piatti, and also Nick DeLeon. Their injuries were covered in detail in the game’s preview, which can be seen with the previous article.
Toronto FC’s home opener at BMO Field is on Saturday, March 7 against New York City FC. They will also host expansion-side Nashville SC on Saturday, March 14. To learn more about Toronto FC’s schedule read this previous article.
The San Jose Earthquakes will host Minnesota United FC at Earthquakes Stadium on Saturday, March 7. They will then play on the road against the Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park. The Quakes will play in Philadelphia on Saturday, March 14.