Playoff clinch melts in Toronto's fog, 2:1
October 4, 2007
Coming into tonight's match in foggy Toronto needing a win to clinch a playoff berth, playing against a team that hasn't won in three month and is well on its way of setting league records for offensive futility, Metro succumbed by a 2:1 score. They can still clinch a playoff spot this weekend if results go their way; if not, they could be in a similar situation in the season's penultimate match.
Claudio Reyna's toe injury forced him to the sidelines as Clint Mathis started. Jozy Altidore, recovered from his injury, returned to the lineup for Francis Doe.
Toronto scored in the 18th minute, after Maurice Edu beat Joe Vide to a Marvell Wynne pass. On the other end, Toronto's strategy was to beat up Altidore close to the box, and Metro could do nothing with numerous set pieces outside TFC's penalty area.
In the 64th minute, Joe Vide received his second yellow and subsequent marching orders on a clumsy tackle. Two minutes after that, a slow roller from former Metro Marvell Wynne was not played by Ronald Waterreus, and Chris Leitch, charging hard into the net to clear the ball, knocked it in instead.
A minute later, Toronto's Andrew Boyens got a straight red on a disgusting late tackle on Altidore. With both teams down to ten, Metro looked re-energized. Attack after attack, many coming through the burning speed of Dane Richards, went down Toronto's way. In the 75th minute, Richards got a well-deserving goal, heading in a Dave van den Bergh corner kick after Toronto failed to mark the supposedly 5'7" winger.
But that was as close as Metro got all night. At the end, Mo Johnston had his first win against his former team, Metro's winless streak reached five games, as they remained on the doorstep of the playoffs for at least two more days.
Lineup: Waterreus, van den Bergh, Parke, Stammler, Leitch, Vide, Kovalenko, Mathis, Richards, Altidore, Angel. Subs: Doe.