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Daniel Rios Scores Game Winner to Eliminate Toronto FC

Daniel Rios Scores Game Winner to Eliminate Toronto FC

HARTFORD, CT – Daniel Rios played a big role in Nashville SC’s win over Toronto FC. The expansion side will now advance to the 2020 Eastern Conference Semifinals, where they will face Columbus Crew SC. They eliminated the second-best team from the 2020 MLS regular season in one of the bigger upsets in the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Daniel Rios’ Goal the Difference against Toronto FC

Three Keys to the Game

Nashville SC had numerous chances to score

Nashville was clearly the better team. They had 21 shots and had six shots on goal. If they took advantage of their chances, they could have won the game by a large margin. An example would be the 39th minute, where Jhonder Cádiz shot from the centre of the box but missed the net.

This can also be seen in the 72nd minute. Hany Mukhtar had a glorious chance to score but his header was too high. Then in the 90th minute of play, Mukhtar hit the crossbar. Quentin Westberg had to make the big save at the end of regular time (90th+1st) to keep Toronto’s chances alive.

Westberg made the initial save, but the rebound was collected by Daniel Rios. As a result, Nashville scored the game-winning goal that allowed them to play in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Toronto FC was too slow

TFC looked very sluggish against the Nashville Soccer Club. Many of the Toronto players did not play well against Nashville. Toronto had 61.6 percent of the possession. However, they only had 12 shots, with four of them hitting the target.

In particular, Jozy Altidore did not look like himself. There was a play where Altidore was not quick enough to collect a pass in the 19th minute. As a result, Walker Zimmerman from Nashville was able to defend Altidore and reverted the danger.

Altidore, Pozuelo, and Pablo Piatti all did not play well  on the day, which was a surprise. Furthermore, some of Pozuelo’s passes were easily intercepted by Nashville’s defence.

Huge credit though should be given to Nashville’s defence. They did not allow Toronto to get many chances. Furthermore, Nashville blocked two TFC shots from Ralph Priso-Mbongue and Alejandro Pozuelo at the 120th + 1st minute of play. Nashville showed on Tuesday why they had the third-fewest goals allowed in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto FC did not take advantage of their opportunities

As outplayed as TFC was today, they still had a chance to win the game. Their first shot came in the 8th-minute. However, Auro Jr.’s shot was off-target. In the 26th minute, Nick DeLeon had a glorious chance to score. However, his shot was too straight, and it was saved by Nashville SC goalkeeper Joe Willis.

They also had chances to score in extra time. This included Patrick Mullins, whose shot was just a bit high in the 107th minute.

Later, in the second half of extra time, both Jonathan Osorio and Ayo Akinola had a golden opportunity to tie the game. Harris though saved both shots in the 120th + 1st minute and Nashville came away with the victory.

Toronto FC vs. Nashville SC Game Overview

Overview of the game and what is next for Nashville SC

Nashville got a deserved win against Toronto in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Three times they had a goal called offside by the referee. It felt like Toronto was playing with fire for most of the night. Mukhtar had one goal called offside (99th minute) and Jhonder Cádiz had a goal called offside twice (13th and 54th minute).

Yes, there were all good calls, but it showed that TFC had some fortune in this game. However, they still lost to a Nashville team that is firing on all cylinders. They have now won three straight games including two on the road. They will now face the Crew in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The game will take place on Sunday, November. 29th at 8:00 PM EST.

What is next for Toronto FC

Unfortunately for TFC, their 2020 MLS season campaign is over. They lost four of their last five games. This includes losing two games on the road. They will now pay attention to Hamilton Forge FC as they could qualify for the Concacaf Champions League on December 1st against Arcahaie FC of Haiti.

Canada Soccer recently announced that the Canadian Championship Final will take place in the first quarter of 2021. Toronto will play Forge FC.

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