At BMO field, Toronto’s potent offense proved too powerful for RSL, as Toronto FC came away with all three points Wednesday night. The hosts saw out the match 1-0, courtesy of Tosaint Ricketts’ first goal in MLS. The Canadian international is TFC’s most recent signing and made his second appearance for Toronto.
The teams traded chances in the first half, but RSL looked the more dangerous side. RSL’s first chance out of the gate was a near miss from Javier Morales, who couldn’t quite get on the end of Beckerman’s header in the 2nd minute. In the 39th, Alex Bono stoned Joao Plata’s effort as he tried to slot home a slick pass from Morales. Despite missing their own chances, RSL managed to nullify the threat of last year’s MVP winner Sebastian Giovinco in the first half. Aaron Maund negated a clear chance by making an incredible tackle in the box to dispossess the Italian, and Demar Philips cleared Giovinco’s chip shot with his head in the 42nd minute. RSL closed out the half with a majority of the possession and a few good chances, but no goals to show for it.
Greg Vanney showed he meant business early in the second half by subbing off attacking midfielder Jay Chapman and forward Jordan Hamilton in the 56th minute. The two youngsters made way for Jozy Altidore and Tosaint Ricketts, both seasoned forwards who have extensive international experience for the USA and Canada respectively. Ricketts, known for his blistering pace, proved too much to handle for RSL, as he scored on a quick counter run with a stunning assist from Giovinco in the 68th minute.
RSL’s best chances to take the lead came in the 64th and 66th minutes. Olmes Garcia chased down a ball on the right flank and sent a hopeful cross into the middle, which was deflected away by a Toronto defender. Morales retrieved the ball and sent a diagonal pass left toward a streaking Plata, whose effort barely sailed past the right post. Two minutes later, Plata’s cross from the left side glanced off Burrito Martinez’s head, who lunged forward to meet the ball. The shot also flew right of the right post, and Burrito held his head in disbelief.
Burrito had one more close shot at goal in the 77th minute, which was denied point-blank by Bono. RSL put up a fight in the final minutes, taking a few hopeful shots and frantically trying to salvage a point. The Toronto keeper had an incredible match, and worked hard to keep a clean sheet with spectacular positioning in both of his close saves. With the win, Toronto is now riding a three-game winning streak.
RSL heads back home determined to maintain their playoff berth. Their next opponent is the hapless Chicago Fire, who have only managed four wins this season. Kick-off is at 8:00 pm on Saturday, August 6th at Rio Tinto Stadium.