VANCOUVER, B.C - It was a rivalry renewed with Toronto FC visiting B.C. Place to take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Reds scored a pair of second half goals, and came away with a 2-0 win in front of 20,438 unhappy supporters. Jozy Altidore, had a goal and an assist, after Whitecaps winger, Brek Shea was ejected from the match for dissent.
East Side Stand Up Podcast: One red, two goals, three points!
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Carl Robinson summed up the ejection as a turning point in the match. The 0-2-1 Caps now have more red cards on the season, than they do points. Toronto FC 1-0-2 picked up their first win of the season. In all competitions, Vancouver has now lost three times in 8 days, in 3 different countries.
"It was a turning point because the game was pretty even," said Robinson regarding Shea being sent off. "It played out exactly as I thought it would. Not much action in the first half, and the second half we tried to get into the troops a little bit to have an impact, and play on our front foot, and we did. For twenty plus minutes we were trying to engineer the game, and trying to get that goal. Then, Brek sending off out of nowhere. It affects it and we don't react, and we don't really respond, and we give away a goal. The first goal was always going to win the game. Disappointing. I don't know why he actually gave him the second yellow card, but I will get to the bottom of it."
It appeared that Shea dropped an F-bomb towards referee Ismail Elfath. Discipline has always been a concern for the Whitecaps, and Shea getting sent off won't dispel that.
"I don't condone lack of discipline, one hundred percent," admitted Robinson. "We won't do it at this football club with me as manager. What he told me, he actually said, and I genuinely one-hundred percent believe my player goes on every single minute of the game. It's a fine line, and a little can of worms. If you do that and send him off, no problem. We'll respectively take it, but you've got to do it for every player. That didn't happen."
There was a heated second half altercation with Michael Bradley, Kendall Waston, and Matias Laba. Pushing and shoving ensued, words were exchanged, but nobody was sent off. The question remains, why was Shea sent off and Bradley allowed to remain. Surely there has to be the same kind of level playing field for every player on both sides.
"I think it's a matter of what was said," revealed Jozy Altidore. "I think you're missing that point which is very very important. I think what the two players said back to the referee was very different. Trust me, I know, I've had experience."
The Opening 45
A back up battle of keepers unfolded with Alex Bono starting for the visitors, and Spencer Richey earning his first career MLS start, in net for Vancouver. Toronto started in a 3-5-2 formation, and Vancouver in a familiar 4-2-3-1 setup.
The opening forty-five was lacklustre, and uneventful. Champagne football, it was not. Vancouver did not have offer a dangerous attack in Toronto's half. Toronto FC did little when they got forward, and neither keeper was tested.
Toronto FC had an early claim for a penalty in the 26' minute. Justin Morrow was nudged and knocked over by Whitecaps skipper, Kendall Waston. Referee, Ismail Elfath wasn't buying any of it. Vancouver got away with what was a missed penalty.
Toronto held a comfortable 59% - 41% possession advantage as the match awaited a goal.
The Second Half
In effort to wake up his offensive, Carl Robinson brought Christian Bolanos, for Alphonso Davies. The 16 year-old had played on Tuesday in CONCACAF Champions League action, and looked tired vs Toronto. Bolanos offered more creativity, and that allowed the Whitecaps to push the pace.
Toronto FC was looking for the opening goal, and Justin Morrow was intent on testing Richey. The full-back fired a rocket from distance that Richey dove to save with his hand.
Brek Shea was sent off in the 70' minute. He was given a yellow card for a rash tackle on Nick Hagglund, and then he voiced his displeasure with profanity. Vancouver had to play the final 20' minute with ten players, and that rarely resutls in a positive result.
The Reds finally they broke through with the opening goal in the 76' minute. Victor Vazquez headed home a brilliant cross from Altidore. The 30 year-old was unmarked, and cleanly beat Richey.
Toronto could smell blood and they quickly got back on offence and scored again. Jonathan Osorio found Altidore alone in the box, he turned a blasted a ball behind Richey. Some poor marking from the Whitecaps let their rookie keeper down, and Toronto was there to capitalize.
It wasn't the prettiest of matches, but Toronto won't care. They took advantage of a undermanned Whitecaps side after Shea was sent off. Vancouver was showing positive signs, but everything changed after the sending off.
Man of the Match
Altidore stepped up in the absence of Sebastian Giovinco and he delivered with a goal and assist. Altidore has shown that his is capable of carrying the offence at any given time. Toronto is still quite a dangerous team, and it's no wonder why with Jozy Altidore goal poaching in the box.
"I feel good," said Altidore. "The most important thing was leaving this road trip with five points. We set a goal for ourselves, and I'm really happy with how it came about. Now we have two weeks to prepare for our big home opener."
Vancouver Whitecaps Starting XI: Spencer Richey; Jordan Harvey, Tim Parker, Kendall Waston(C), Sheanon Williams; Russell Teibert, Matias Laba; Alphonso Davies, 46 (Christian Bolanos), Nicolas Mezquida, 74 (Kekuta Manneh), Brek Shea; Fredy Montero, 74 (Erik Hurtado). 4-2-3-1.
Toronto FC Starting XI: Alex Bono; Nick Hagglund, 75 (Raheem Edwards), Drew Moor, Eriq Zavaleta; Justin Morrow, Jonathan Osorio, Michael Bradley(C), Armando Cooper, 64 (Victor Vazquez), Steven Beitashour; Tosaint Ricketts, 81 (Chris Mavinga), Jozy Altidore. 3-5-2