Late Toronto goals overcome inept Metro, 2:0
March 6, 2016
Last year, there was a set of games, where Metro would dominate possession, create some sort of attack, but was not able to break through. The opposing team would sit back, absorb the pressure, wait for the counter-attack, and, with most of Metro's team upfield, sometimes score. These games were rare, but they delivered a blueprint for defeating the Supporters Shield winners.
So, in the offseason, we heard the junta in charge talk about learning from mistakes and adjusting the strategy based on what the opponent tries. Who knows, that might be the plan. But in the season opener, it was Toronto's plan that worked, as they used the plan described above to beat Metro 2:0.
New season did see a new formation, as 4-2-3-1 transitioned to 4-2-2-2, but with just one new face: Gideon Baah, stepping in the center of defense. The rest was same old: Luis Robles, Kemar Lawrence, Ronald Zubar, Sal Zizzo, Dax McCarty, Felipe Martins, Sacha Kljestan, Lloyd Sam, Mike Grella, and Bradley Wright-Phillips.
It's not like Metro couldn't create anything offensively. In the first half, a give-and-go between Sam and Wright-Phillips saw the former shoot high. In the second, McCarty sprung BWP on net, he circled around the Toronto goalkeeper, but was forced to a tough angle. Grella ended up hitting the side netting.
Toronto? They sat back, and back, and back. All the way until the 82nd minute, when, on (what else!) a counter-attack, Lawrence was judged to bring down Tsubasa Endoh in the box. Sebastian Giovinco converted the penalty.
Somehow, the goal failed to wake Metro up. In fact, it were the visitors who got the next goal, on (what else!) a counter-attack, Mark Delgado finishing at the start of injury time.
Let's hope we learn from our mistakes...
Lineup: Robles, Lawrence, Zubar, Baah, Zizzo, McCarty, Martins, Kljestan, Grella, Sam, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Abang, Wright-Phillips, Davis.