Aron Winter was recently quoted as saying his Toronto players had not followed instructions and poor results were the outcome.
For an hour against the Chicago Fire on a rain soaked BMO field the coach would have been pleased…very pleased. An early goal from Joao Plata gave Toronto the lead and for the rest of the first half Toronto made sure that the Fire played in front of them, keeping them to the periphery.
In possession Toronto always had spare men should a move break down; without the ball they were content to allow Chicago to knock the ball to each other with minimum pressure until they ventured closer to the TFC goal and then the red jerseys descended.
A 4-1-4-1 formation could quickly morph into a 4-1-2-3 depending on the situation and Toronto held the upper hand on a Chicago Fire side that had trouble getting support in and around their lone striker Diego Chaves while playing a similar 4-1-4-1 but without any initial ambition.
When Marcos Santos sent a long range effort through the legs of Chicago keeper Jon Conway early in the second half there was little indication that the visitors had it in them to rebound.
But it was at 2-0 that Toronto discovered the difference ten yards can make. Toronto started drifting deeper and the initial challenges on the Fire attackers started being made in more dangerous positions.
It was ten yards that was to cost Toronto all three points.
A foul on the edge of the Toronto penalty box just after the hour mark offered Marco Pappa an opportunity to drift a deftly hit free kick beyond Stefan Frei.
Chicago had sent on striker Orr Barouch for Gaston Puerari just before Pappa’s goal and with two strikers Chicago suddenly had a focal point for their attacks as Toronto willingly surrendered ground.
And it was Barouch who was to slide home the equalizer after good work from Bone on the right side. After gaining the upper hand the Fire showed no inclination to surrender it and offered TFC little opportunity to redeem the situation.
In fact if had not been for a terrific save from Stefan Frei from Paladini all three points would have been heading to Chicago.
Chicago’s patience and ability to pass the ball eventually paid off and they were rewarded with a point leaving Toronto to rue the decision to drop deeper.
You can also find other Soccer Report Extra.com contributors on Twitter by following this link.
Please refrain from posting comments that;
The House reserves the right to delete any such comments and to block further participation on the site.