"OMG, did we just totally win the Canadian Championship?" "No, but this should shut those Whitecaps supporters for a while." CREDIT: Abelimages/Getty Images
3 – 2
|GOALS||Mattocks 50', 90'+1|
Don't you know that I was thinking, about what you told me
Rollin' it over in my mind
And much to my surprise I find, that you were absolutely right
You've been right all along.
You're absolutely right and I'm wrong.
- "Absolutely Right", Five Man Electrical Band
|Shots on Goal||16||12|
|Shots on Target||7||3|
After countless misses, Terry Dunfield made it count when it was needed -- and for TFC fans who've seen their share of games slip away from late winners and equalizers, putting one past the opposition for a change (and against Vancouver, of all teams) made this 3-2 win extra sweet -- and at the same time, end all griping about the Canadian Championship.
Given that most of the talk surrounding the match in Vancouver was all about avenging their loss in the Voyageurs Cup final, this match should prove that the win wasn't a one-off, given that two of the three goals came off set pieces, something that the Reds are turning into an offensive threat.
Sure, the first half might have looked a bit like two tired sumo wrestlers fighting over the last piece of sushi -- not surprising considering how the MLS schedule has gone gangbusters since the middle of last month. But despite it all, it wasn't exactly without chances. Ryan Johnson had a few one-on-one attempts at Joe Cannon near the end of the half, and if not for the post and some poor finishing, TFC could have headed into the break with a one or two goal lead.
But it was Vancouver who would strike the first blow in the second half, the rookie Darren Mattocks slipping by TFC's defence like Carmen Sandiego at a poorly-secured museum, and striking 5 minutes in, But like the past few games, TFC did not fall into panic mode -- instead, they continued to press and within 23 minutes, Luis Silva and Frings had ripped the lead from the west coasters.
Young-Pyo Lee could've tied it in the 85th minute, but like Johnson in the first half, found the post instead. Mattocks would find a way past again in the first minute of stoppage, but it would be Dunfield who would slather himself in the sauce of glory this night -- a beautifully struck corner from Frings deep into the stoppage into the crowd, which Dunfield rose the highest
to grab the bouquet to head home the winner.
While Vancouver scratches their head wondering how they could have lost; Toronto can celebrate that once again, they've shut the west coasters up. Plus, they found that there are goalscorers that aren't named Ryan Johnson or Danny Koevermans. But it will be Dunfield will definitely enjoy this victory the most, not only scoring the winner against his old team, but finally burying a goal after missing so many chances in the past seven games.
The defence was the same old story, but mostly kept the Whitecaps' major weapons like Camilo Sanvezzo and Barry Robson quiet -- and was perhaps helped by the suspension of Eric Hassli and the departure of Davide Chiumiento -- but It did fail in keeping Mattocks off the scoresheet, which we can only hope the promised lineup relief will address, especially with Jeremy Hall being pulled for Doneil Henry midway through the first half.
But now the Reds head off to New England before coming back to BMO for another Wednesday nighter against the Rapids, and then the disgusting and pointless Liverpool friendly, before finally getting a week off for the MLS All-Star Game. The schedule doesn't get any easier after that, especially with the CONCACAF Champions League group stage just around the corner. Points gained now, for what they're worth, can only build towards something great later -- whatever it may be.