The Toronto FC winning streak has extended to five games after a 1-0 win over FC Cincinnati. Several changes were made to the starting lineup for Greg Vanney’s squad. This includes Ayo Akinola, who did not play today. A big reason for this was a tight schedule of many games played within a small time span.
The win also resulted in Toronto FC being the first MLS club to punch a ticket to the playoffs.
Three Keys to the Game for Toronto FC
Toronto FC and their Incredible Passing Ability
Toronto FC and their passing is the biggest key reason why they won the game. In the 24-minute for example, Toronto made a lot of great passes. However, it resulted in Alejandro Pozuelo missing the net. The play was assisted by Jonathan Osorio. Then, in the 50th minute, the great passing was displayed again as Pablo Piatti’s shot missed the net.
Lastly, they had a chance in the 8th minute where Omar González‘s header was off-target. Jonathan Osorio assisted the play with his cross. González also had a chance via a Piatti cross, but his shot was saved by Przemyslaw Tyton in the 77th minute.
However, their passing ability played a big role in Toronto scoring the lone goal of the game. Canadian player Richie Laryea made a terrific pass to Patrick Mullins, who scored the game-winner past Cincinnati goalkeeper Tyton.
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) October 12, 2020
FC Cincinnati Did Not Have Many Chances
Cincinnati had seven shots, but only one of them hit the target. However, three of these seven shots were blocked by Toronto FC defenders. This showed that Cincinnati did not have many chances to score. Cincinnati’s only shot in target came in the 34th minute when Brandon Vázquez shot was stopped easily by Quentin Westberg. Then just before the first half ended, a Haris Medunjanin cross from the corner resulted in Maikel van der Werff’s header narrowly missing the net.
Lastly, they also had a chance to score late in the second half, but Nick Hagglund’s header was too high in the 90+8th minute. This was the last chance Cincinnati had in the game.
Toronto FC Played Some Great Defense for Most of the Game
As mentioned before, Toronto blocked three of Cincinnati’s seven shots. In addition, Eriq Zavaleta defended well today. This included not allowing a Cincinnati player to get to the ball in the 12th minute.
Furthermore, Toronto FC blocked three shots. One was in the 10-minute with Haris Medunjanin’s shot being blocked. Brandon Vázquez shot was blocked in the 36th minute, and lastly, Joseph-Claude Gyau shot was blocked in the 90th minute. These blocks of possible shot attempts by Cincinnati diminished their scoring chances.
Yes, Toronto FC was shaky near the end of the game. Their defensive lines were making mistakes, which almost resulted in a penalty. However, the Toronto defense played well for the rest of the game and as a result, won 0-1 in Cincinnati.
Toronto FC vs. FC Cincinnati Game Overview
Cincinnati might unfortunately have some bad news with injuries. This resulted in Mathieu Deplagne being replaced by Andrew Gutman in the 41st minute and Tyton was replaced by Spencer Richey in the 81st minute. Normally, a regular starter for Cincinnati, Deplagne would be greatly missed by the team. Moreover, Cincinnati’s starting goalkeeper Tyton had to be replaced late against Toronto FC.
In the 90+4th minute, it looked like González gave up a penalty to Cincinnati. However, the referee looked at the VAR and decided not to award the penalty. Toronto might have been a bit fortunate as González has made some mistakes for Toronto this season. If the penalty was scored the news article of this game would have been different.
However, as it stands Toronto FC gets the three points and remains the Supporters’ Shield leaders. They have won five straight and are unbeaten in seven games. Meanwhile, this is Cincinnati’s fourth straight loss. Cincinnati has the second-worst record in MLS and the Eastern Conference.
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) October 12, 2020
Looking Ahead for Both Toronto FC and FC Cincinnati
Cincinnati will have a battle of Ohio at Nippert Stadium on Wednesday against the Columbus Crew SC before facing D.C. United on Sunday. Cincinnati is five points behind the 10th and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. They will need to get more points and wins in order to make the MLS playoffs. This is while Toronto FC is three points ahead of the Philadelphia Union in the Supporters Shield race.
Toronto FC will face the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday and then will face Atlanta United FC on Sunday. Both games will be played at Hartford, which will give Toronto a chance to widen their lead in the Supporters’ Shield race. Toronto are also the first team to punch their ticket to the MLS playoffs.