TORONTO FC vs ORLANDO CITY – May 18th 2018

By: Nabeela Damji

Saturday, May 19, 2018


As the great Goddess Celine Dion once sang “what do you say to taking chances?” And that’s ALL TFC and Orlando City seemed to be able to do until Jay Chapman finally got the ball rolling (literally, and figuratively)

Toronto FC were back at home for a Friday night tilt against Orlando City.  With starter Sebastian Giovinco serving a suspension and with Toronto being riddled with injuries, TFC were looking to bounce back from back to back losses.  Toronto has won six of their eight meetings with Orlando scoring multiple goals in all but one match.


So, how did the first half go? Not well.  For either team. 


The Reds had a chance to score within the first five minutes when Ryan Telfer’s low cross was kicked just wide of an open net by Jordan Hamilton.  Toronto for the most part did a good job of keeping it in the other teams for the most part but Orland came back around the 10-minute mark to really put pressure on TFC.  No one was able to capitalize on any chances throughout the first 15 minutes of play.  It was Telfer again at the 26-minute mark, but Orlando goalkeeper Joseph Bendik denied him. Again, in the 36th minute, there were two solid chances in a row for TFC to take a lead, but they just couldn’t get it done. 

The two teams went into the half with no goals scored.


So, did the second half prove to be any different?


The second started off with TFC looking like they forgot how to play soccer…er…futbol…

It was like the net was LeBron James, and the players were all mini DeMar’s running around terrified to look at it. 

Again, there were plenty more chances.  Sadly, that’s all they were, until the 62nd minute.  Tosaint Ricketts just hit the post, but Jay Chapman was there to score off the rebound to give The Reds a 1-0 lead. To make matters worse for Orlando, this was the 9th out of 11 times they had conceded the first goal of the match.

In the 72nd minute, it was Ricketts again, who scored off the corner after it was cleared.  However, the goal was waved off as it was offside. Orlando tied it up a minute later when Cristian Higuita nailed a shot past Alex Bono from just outside the penalty box.


So, it looked like we were headed for the infamous tie.  Not so much. 


In the 86th minute, Telfer wired his first ever MLS goal past Bendik to give The Reds a 2-1 lead.  Which was incredible in his own right seeing as Telfer wouldn’t have started if teammate Ashone Morgan hasn’t been dealing with a minor injury. He said after the game about his lowkey celebration “Knowing what has happened before in previous matches, you can’t celebrate until that final whistle has blown.”

After the game, coach Vanney said of Telfer “He did exactly what we wanted him to do on the attacking side, which was get on the ball when he could, and be aggressive; try to run at [their defenders], to get to the end-line and put them on their heels as much as we could,”

To end the evening off, a pesky squirrell managed to find the Orlando net faster than any TFC player on the night.  The Reds are back in action next Friday against FC Dallas.