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Are the football gods laughing at us? Or are they just toying with us? It's another late collapse, after what seemed to be an even game. We recap and summarize it all.
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Time goes slowly, but carries on.
And now the best years have come and gone.
You took me by surprise, I didn’t realize,
That you were laughing.
Laughing, 'cause you’re doin’ it to me.
Laughing, it ain’t the way it should be.
You took away ev’rything I had, you put the hurt on me.
- "Laughing", The Guess Who
We lose when we are outplayed, and we lose when we're the one who do the outplaying. A horrible DC United was there for the taking, after almost 90 minutes of scoreless football. And then, one mistake...and even a point became just a dream. It looked as though for the most part it was a competent game, save for the whole finishing part. The cruelty of it all!
It wasn't the worst performance by any stretch of the imagination, either -- it certainly did help that DC were conceding corners like it was tofu dessert from Hong Kong street cart. One usually meant two, and sometimes even a third. But despite all the chances -- there was no finishing. Ryan Johnson had a few chances, and Quincy Amarikwa didn't see many chances before that hamstring injury from last week acted up.
His replacement Andrew Wiedeman was once again of little use, and even Luis Silva did very little. But somehow, TFC were able to gets some dangerous shots away, all of which were defended abily by Brandon MacDonald and the DC backline. Few chances really threatened Bill Hamid, who looked rather comfortable as the match went on. But that's not to say that DC had it easy either; they were just as wasteful with their chances -- but when late sub Maicon Santos' shot was mishandled by Milos Kocic, Hamdi Salihi simply slotted the rebound home, free of Richard Eckersley who arrived seconds too late.
The Red Patch Boys asked the team to allow them to feel proud to be supporters again, and in a sense TFC didn't embarrass themselves against a playoff team. Much ink have been spilt (and will continue to be) over this match, and this late breakdown will likely not make Paul Mariner's life any easier, while only increasing the volume of those who are calling for his head.
Of course there's still Montreal, Columbus and that Santos Laguna clash left after the upcoming international break -- but with Montreal now officially eliminated from the playoff race and Columbus all but assured a slot, those matches will be window dressing at best. But at least the end is coming fast, but then again...what's that faint laughter I hear in the wind?
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WAKING THE RED'S GOLDEN TROPHIES/UPSIDE SLAPS TO THE HEAD
* An upside slap to the head for...Richard Eckersley. There's a reason why Hamdi Salihi is so dangerous. MARK!
* An upside slap to the head for...the offense. WHEN YOU HAVE A SHOT, SHOOT. NOT CROSS.
* A golden trophy to...the Red Patch Boys. Kudos for organizing the protest.