ORLANDO, Fla. – The movement, readiness, and ability of Toronto FC gave them the strong first-half today. At one point in the first half, they had 56 percent of the possession and were winning 2-0. Ayo Akinola was probably the man of the match as he stepped up big and scored two goals for Toronto FC.
However, it was the second-half that was disappointing for Toronto FC. Despite being 2-0 up and D.C. United being a man down, TFC gave up two goals late in the second half.
Toronto FC vs. D.C. United Game Review
Toronto FC had the game on the threshold against United on Monday. Two goals by Akinola in the 12th and 44th minute gave TFC the 2-0 lead in the first half. They frustrated D.C United and had most of the possession in the first half.
Furthermore, Quentin Westberg made a miraculous save against Ola Kamara. Also, United player Júnior Moreno got a red card and a second yellow late in the first half on a tackle on TFC player Marky Delgado.
The whole team was firing on all cylinders as Michael Bradley and Pablo Piatti looked fresh from their respective injuries. Furthermore, Alejandro Pozuelo had two assists in the game and Auro Jr. played a big role in TFC’s offence.
Akinola’s first goal was great but they don’t happen that often. The second is why I’ve been impressed with him here: always making the right runs and taking up good positions, always alert when #TFCLive have won the ball high up the field. That’s how you get your goals.
— Oliver Platt (@plattoli) July 13, 2020
All of the things they did right though, in the first half, they did wrong in the second half. Like the first-half, Toronto FC had the majority of the possession in the second half. However, the passing was slow and sluggish as TFC barely had any chances to score despite being a man up.
TFC had very few chances and most of them came at the end of the game. This included Akinola’s header being saved by United goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
Furthermore, the centre-back changes TFC head coach Greg Vanney made will be questioned against United. From one perspective, the changes make sense as the TFC was winning 2-0. However, the changes can also be seen as a reason why TFC did not grab three points today.
64’ Double change at the back.
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) July 13, 2020
The lack of concentration on both Eriq Zavaleta and Laurent Ciman resulted in D.C. United’s first goal. United’s Federico Higuain got past the two defenders to score the team’s first goal in the 84th minute. Then Frédéric Brillant scored from a free kick in the 90th+1st minute to tie the game 2-2.
— dcunited (@dcunited) July 13, 2020
Group C Standings and Schedule
It was a big opportunity wasted for Toronto FC. However, all they can do now is improve and move on. They will play the Montreal Impact on Thursday, July. 16th. Their last game will be against the New England Revolution on Tuesday, July 21st. TFC currently sits tied for second with United with one point. The Revolution is first in group c with three points after winning 1-0 against the Impact. The Impact is in the worst position sitting last in group c.
This is while United’s next game will be against the New England Revolution on Thursday, July 16th and their last game will be against the Impact on Tuesday, July 21st.
It will be a very tense match on Thursday. Both Toronto FC and the Impact are fierce 401 Derby rivals. As mentioned previously in the Group C preview for Last Word on Soccer, Ignacio Piatti left the impact after the 2019 MLS season.
The Impact will be desperate to get a result on Thursday. They have already lost to the New England Revolution 1-0 in Group C. Another loss might mean an end to the Impact’s run at the MLS is Back Tournament. They will also feel confident they can beat Toronto FC after winning the 2019 Canadian Championship Final last year in penalty kicks against Toronto FC.
The big question mark for Thursday’s game against the Montreal Impact is the possible return of Jozy Altidore. According to Michael Singh of Waking the Red, Altidore only began training with TFC on July 3rd. Vanney felt that a return for their first game against United was a lot to expect from him. However, he could return on Thursday against the Montreal Impact.
Greg Vanney says that #TFCLive's Jozy Altidore will return to training for the first time with the team tomorrow. He is in the last day of his quarantine.
"I think it would be a lot to ask Jozy to be ready for the first game…"
— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) July 2, 2020