Home MLS Toronto FC Another game, another late goal conceded by TFC

Another game, another late goal conceded by TFC

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You can describe Toronto FC’s 2012 season in any number of colourful ways, yet “comedy of errors” isn’t one of them. That specific term implies a variety of errors, whereas for the Reds, it’s just the same glaring flaw of surrendering late goals game after game. Sure enough, TFC once more fell victim to a late goal, as Hamdi Salihi’s 88th-minute strike netted D.C. United a 1-0 win and left the Reds wondering how this has happened again.

“We come to the end of every game and we don’t tense up,” said forward Andrew Wiedeman. “We all think this is the game we’re going to right the ship. I firmly thought we were going to pull it out and get the win, the way we were peppering the goal. We put them under so much pressure in the second half but we couldn’t pull it off.”

TFC’s lack of a finishing touch was the big-picture issue in the match, as the Reds indeed created the better chances of the two clubs and probably should’ve found the scoreboard at least once. Still, a scoreless draw was in the cards until the 88th minute, when Maicon Santos’s long attempt from outside the box was mishandled by goalkeeper Milos Kocic, allowing Salihi to fire home the rebound for the deciding goal.

“Maicon hit the deeper ball and those are very difficult for goalkeepers,” Kocic said. “At that moment I should do better. I don’t know if lost the focus or what was the problem, but I definitely have to do better, especially in that moment of the game.”

Kocic was seen apologizing to the supporters’ section after the match and he repeated his apologies to both his teammates in the locker room and to the larger TFC fan base.

“I lost the game for my team today. I want to apologize to everybody,” Kocic said. “The boys deserved better today. The fans, the club, everybody deserved better. I let them down today.”

The Reds have now allowed an astounding 16 goals over the last 15 minutes of MLS games this season, six of which were game-losers for TFC and five of which turned victories into draws. That adds up to 16 points left on the table for Toronto and leaving no mystery as to why TFC is at the bottom of the league table.

Saturday’s loss extended Toronto’s winless streak to 12 games (0-8-4) and they are now just one behind the club record for futility, set over the last four games of the 2011 season and the first nine games of this season. TFC will be hard-pressed to break the streak on October 20 against the Montreal Impact given their lack of depth at the forward position — Ryan Johnson will be suspended for caution accumulation and Quincy Amarikwa left in the 33rd minute with an apparent leg injury.

“He had a slight [knock] during the week and we had treatment and he said he was fine,” head coach Paul Mariner said of Amarikwa. “Just when he went up for a ball, he overextended himself… it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the month.”

The strike force looked good against United, with perhaps the best chance coming in the ninth minute when Reggie Lambe sent a nice pass from the right side in front to Luis Silva. The attempt was stopped by D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid, one of three saves made by Hamid en route to his eighth clean sheet.

Hamid came up big against in the 61st minute, making a diving stop to knock aside a Johnson shot set up by a strong passing series between Johnson, Wiedeman and Jeremy Hall. That chance began a good 10-minute stretch for Toronto but it just couldn’t manage the breakthrough goal.

The tough result obscured a TFC performance that was, as Mariner put it, “as well as I’ve seen them play for quite some time.” The Reds deserved at least a point against a United side that now sits second in the Eastern Conference, and has gone 4-0-1 since losing Dwayne De Rosario to a sprained MCL suffered during Canada’s World Cup qualifier loss to Panama.

“I thought we did very well considering they’re well into the playoffs and we’re miles away from the playoffs,” Mariner said. “It’s just heartbreaking for the players, you know?”

 

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One Comment

  1. Ray

    October 6, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Another loss by TFC where the good becomes mediocre.

    Reply

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