Home playoff misery continues vs Toronto, 2:1
October 30, 2017
"I wish I had a timeout!", Jesse Marsch's words rang on the sidelines. There was no answer. There were no timeouts to be had. At that point, midway through the first half, Metro was completely dominated by Toronto. The scoreboard read 1:0, but it could have been much, much worse.
Almost immediately off the opening whistle, Toronto dominated. The Metro backline was exposed, with acres of space exploited. It all came crashing down in the 8th minute, when ex-Metro Jozy Altidore sent a cross that Luis Robles punched out. Unfortunately, it landed to an unmarked Victor Vazquez, who easily scored.
Toronto kept coming in waves, hitting the crossbar and whiffing from close range. But it wasn't just the chances: it was complete, utter dominance. Multiple times, Marsch was trying to communicate with his players from the sidelines, trying to explain to them what they were doing wrong... It fell on deaf ears. If only Metro could get to halftime with the score intact, so Marsch could adjust...
They did one better, and in first half injury time, Bradley Wright-Phillips won the ball in the box, and then was tripped. Daniel Royer chipped the penalty down the middle, and just like that, Metro was even.
Whatever Marsch said at the half, worked. The team looked completely different out of the gate, dominating the ball and pressuring the visitors. When Gonzalo Veron entered in the 63rd, it was clear that Marsch was going for the win.
Unfortunately, all it took was a foul in the 72nd outside the box, and a perfect Sebastian Giovinco free kick that sailed into the upper left corner. That was Toronto's only chance of the second half. At first glace, it looked that Robles, who was playing his 200th game for Metro, was not positioned correctly. It turned out that Michael Murillo was supposed to leave the wall to take a spot at the near post... which he forgot to do.
Metro continued to play well, with BWP settling the ball in the box, turning around, and just missing. At the end, it was all for naught, as once again, Red Bull Arena, so wonderful in the regular season, is proving a house of horrors in the playoffs. Metro goes into the road leg knowing that anything less than scoring two goals will not be enough... Hopefully, Marsch will not need a timeout next time around.
Lineup: Robles, Perrinelle, Long, Murillo, Lawrence, Adams, Martins, Davis, Kljestan, Royer, Wright-Phillips. Subs: Veron, Bezecourt.