Toronto FC got a late-game winner at Wanderers Grounds

HFX Wanderers FC vs Toronto FC - Wanderers Grounds
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HALIFAX, NS – Toronto FC got a late-game-winner at Wanderers Grounds, which resulted in them advancing to the Canadian Championship semi-finals stage. Halifax fought valiantly, but in the end, their inability to score played a big role in how the game was decided.

Toronto FC got a late winner at Wanderers Grounds

Three keys to the game

First half

Halifax’s Samuel Salter was called for a foul in the seventh minute. Quentin Westberg made an important save from Halifax’s number 30. Halifax’s Samuel Salter had dangerous shot, but his shot narrowly missed the target in the 20-minute. Halifax conceded a corner in the 24-minute. Christian Oxner, the Halifax goalkeeper, knocked the ball out. Halifax shot was off-target in the 25-minute. Christian Oxner punched the ball in the 36-minute. Michael Petrasso made a quick pass to Ifunanyachi Achara but was unable to get to the ball in the 40-minute.

There was not much happening in the first half. Both teams, n particular, Toronto had trouble generating any scoring opportunities while Halifax was never able to get that final pass delivered correctly in the first half. Halifax had two other chances in the first half. Aidan Daniels and Mour Samb had chances to get a shot on target, but they both missed the target.

Second half

The first goal happened because Toronto did well with their set-pieces. It was scored thanks to a great cross from Luca Petrasso. As a result, Jordan Perruzza connected on the cross and was able to put the ball into the back of the net. Ayo Akinola’s shot was blocked in the 55-minute. Shalom dispossessed the TFC player in the 59-minute. Jimenez’s shot was deflected. Garcia made the first run in the 68-minute.

The second goal happened because of Samuel Salter’s ability to find the bottom corner of the net. It was a terrific shot from Salter. However, it has to be said that TFC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg should have done better with that shot. He looked slow to react and as a result, the shot went into the back of the net. Salter’s shot was blocked in the 79-minute. Salter’s shot in the 82-minute almost scored, but it just missed the net.

Jonathan Osorio stepped up again for TFC. It stands as Peter Schaale’s own goal, but Osorio played a big role in the goal. First, credit to Nova Scotia’s own, Jacob Shaffelburg, whose cross inside the box was connected by Osorio inside the box. Osorio’s shot took a few deflections, including off Schaale, and it went into the back of the net. Halifax did have chances to score in the game but was unable to convert. As a result, TFC will face either CF Montreal or Forge FC in the Canadian Championship semi-finals. This is while Halifax, for the second-straight time, has been eliminated by an MLS team in the Canadian Championship.

Game Summary

Halifax had the better first half while Toronto had the better second half. The HFX Wanderers FC might have been the better team overall, but had 14 shots, with only one of them on goal. In comparison, TFC had seven shots, but two of those shots were on goal. Toronto did not look sharp at all in the first half with only one shot and zero on target. They were able to change that though in the second half. TFC played with a lot more pace and speed than they did in the first half, and Halifax was able to create a lot of turnovers in their favour.

TFC’s next game will be against the Chicago Fire FC on Saturday, May. 28, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. ET. They will then play for the 2020 Voyageurs with a finals tie against Forge FC on Saturday, June. 4, 2022. This is while the HFX Wanderers will host York United FC on June 4 at 2:00 p.m. ET. They will then travel to Alberta to face Cavalry FC on June 11 at 3:30 p.m. ET. The TFC-Forge FC game and the two Halifax games will be shown live on OneSoccer and Telus. This is while the Toronto FC-Chicago Fire FC at BMO Field will be televised live on TSN1 and will also be shown on WGN-TV.

Three Takeaways at Wanderers Grounds:

The HFX Wanderers FC struggled on crosses, which played a big role in who won the game. TFC’s first goal came from a cross following a corner, while the second goal also came from a cross in open play.

Jonathan Osorio stepped up big two times in two games. The Canadian continues to play a key role in his hometown club. Osorio was responsible for the late game-tying goal last Saturday against D.C. United. He was also responsible for the game-winning goal in the Canadian Championship semi-finals. Nova Scotia’s own, Jacob Shaffelburg, played a big part in TFC”s game-winning goal.

The Canadian Premier League should not be underestimated. Yes, MLS is still the better league. However, CPL clubs continue to impress in their games against MLS clubs. The one thing Halifax could have done was get more shots on goal and give themselves a better chance to win the game.

Photo Credit: Trevor MacMillan/HFX Wanderers FC on May 24, 2022.