By Sarah Kallassy // @SarahKallassy
Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC | August 18, 2020
It was certainly Toronto FC’s night at BMO Field as DP Pablo Piatti made his home debut against the Vancouver Whitecaps. With a stunning 24 shots to Vancouver’s 4, Toronto would keep a clean sheet and take all three points courtesy of Piatti’s brace and a late match goal from Nick DeLeon.
Despite a lively start, the Whitecaps quickly found themselves under pressure from a strong Toronto side. By the 27’, Piatti had knocked back his first goal of the match (and in MLS), putting Vancouver on the back foot.
Toronto settled in, way too close for comfort, to press Vancouver in and around the box. A flurry of attempts and corners from TFC plagued the Whitecaps for the remainder of the first half. However, Toronto was unable to convert and headed into the half leading Vancouver just 1-0.
Regardless of their anemic first-half performance, Vancouver made no subs at the half, a choice they would soon regret. By the 55’ TFC’s Piatti had made it a brace, leaving the Whitecaps trailing by 2. While VWFC head coach Marc Dos Santos began to make substitutions in the 60’, bringing on Bair and Milinkovic, it was too little too late to quash Toronto’s lead.
As pressure from Toronto continued to mount against Vancouver throughout the second half, goalkeeper Thomas Hasal once again had to hold his own against shot after shot from TFC.
Toronto head coach Greg Vanney, made his first substitutions in the 72’ and 73’ respectively, switching up the defense with veteran player Justin Morrow (also executive director of Black Players for Change) and bolstering the attack with the consistently underrated Nick DeLeon.
It took DeLeon only ten minutes off the bench to find another hole in the Whitecap’s defense and follow up Piatti’s bangers with a goal of his own. The array of late subs sent in by Dos Santos could do nothing to turn the tide against TFC, and the Whitecaps left BMO empty handed.
Toronto remains unbeaten in their first six league matches of the season, however, the Whitecaps have a chance at redemption when the two sides meet again on Friday, August 21st at 8 pm EST.
Featured image: Toronto FC
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