|NEW YORK RED BULLS||1||1||2||
Cahill 39', 89'
Bostock for Ephraim 45'
Osorio for Wiedeman 79'
Kimura for Sam 71'
Luyindula for Espindola 75'
It's enough to make one scream, and that is exactly what many TFC supporters are doing right now. Even if both teams were, suffice to say, terrible, somehow TFC ended up going back to it's old habits after super sub Jonathan Osorio had in the 85th minute cancelled out Tim Cahill's 39hh minute strike; Cahill put home the game winner four minutes later in what all reviews agree was the worst game so far from TFC in this 2013 season.
Blame it on the
Henny the a-a-a-a-a-a-alcohol Canadian Championship game midweek if you must, but for some reason the Reds were feeling rather loose, and for the second game in a row played just like it. Unfortunately for TFC, unlike the Montreal Impact, New York played their A team, which had more than enough quality to get the job done, when they wanted to. The Red Bulls are undefeated in seven games against Toronto, and well...they had the wherewithal to make it eight.
The signs for them doing that looked a bit bleak in the beginning, TFC coming out with a bit of fire at the start and dominating possession and some of the earlier attacks. For that you can thank Justin Braun, who for the second game in a row showed his crash-bang-boom style, causing chaos for the New York defenders. That came to a tragic end though in the 11th minute, when Braun went down on an injury to the ankle. He was replaced by Andrew Wiedeman, and from there, whatever mask of capability TFC was wearing fell to the ground.
The rest of the half was a sickly morass of a kickabout combined with a game of "Who Wants To Give Away The Most Fouls", each side conceding the ball to one another at regular intervals. There was also a moment where Brandon Barklage should have seen red in the 29th minute with a studs-up tackle on Hogan Ephraim which wasn't called. Luis Silva, who was playing a full 90 minutes for the first time this season, would have a chance shortly after, while Robert Earnshaw had an opportunistic and very long odds shot that went over the bar, but that was pretty much the best TFC would see to challenge Luis Robles' net. And when you don't hit when you get the chance, it usually comes back to bite you -- and it did.
Tim Cahill, the wily Australian striker, would follow Roy Miller and Thierry Henry on a penetrating run into the TFC half in the 39th minute. The ball would slip past a mixed up TFC backline, Henry dummying a pass from Miller, letting it run onto the foot of Cahill, giving the Aussie the easiest of goals to put the visiting side a goal up. There wouldn't be much of a response from Toronto, and even after John Bostock was brought in place of the ineffective Ephraim at the start of the 2nd half TFC made very little inroads into getting chances, losing many of the midfield battles that a stronger body like a Richard Eckersley or a Terry Dunfield would be winning. Not to say Reggie Lambe and Jeremy Hall had an awful day, but New York pretty much ended up winning all of those battles.
Andrew Wiedeman...what else can we say? Another bad day, and at the 79th minute Ryan Nelsen had seen enough and pulled him in favour of Jonathan Osorio. The local boy had made some key differences coming on in the past few games, and once again he did not disappoint...when no one was able to find a way through, he would. Luis Robles made a terrible decision to come out to the edge of his box to try and claim a free kick. He didn't, and then rather than retreat to his line he stayed quite high in his box as if to block a shot. that gave Osorio the chance to chip the bal in, and he did just that, the ball finding the net off the underside of the bar. BMO Field breathed a sigh of relief, but the old demons would come back again.
Where Gale Agbossoumonde was solid throughout the 90 along with Darren O'Dea, once again it would be Ashtone Morgan would would be guilty of giving up the fatal error, not clearing the ball in the 89th minute. Thierry Henry took the ball down the left and crossed for Cahill to put in his second of the afternoon -- cuing yet another mass face-to-palm movement across the nation. Added time would bring nothing, and with Cahill's strike, a string of four straight league draws came to an end for TFC, and New York would go eight games undefeated against them. It was a harsh way to concede a point, but the way they were playing -- one could argue that nothing was what TFC deserved.
How and why the team simply played so flat is still a mystery: with many of those who started today rested on Wednesday night, it was baffling as to why such rested players would come out so flat. Hogan Ephraim and John Bostock were largely ineffective, and with many supporters almost reaching the end of their rope with those two, could we see those two shipped off for some replacements soon? Andrew Wiedeman was also a deserved victim of the "sub pull" (where a subbed player would be pulled for another) -- a pretty big slap in the face from coach Nelsen. Earnshaw is also growing impatient, and needs to tone down his aggressiveness. No matter how good at finding the goal you are, to take wild shots and hope for the best solves nothing.
The team is still too full of people who are just out of their depth, playing too meekly and conceding too easily...and it's something that even a Buddhist lama from Tibet can't exorcise. Nelsen had asked for patience at the start of the season, but to see the same thing over and over again...well, this love is really starting to take its toll on us.
* * *
WTR'S GOLDEN TROPHIES/KICKS TO THE GROIN...
|Kick to the Groin: Ashtone Morgan
|Kick to the Groin: Andrew Wiedeman
| Kick to the Groin: John Bostock
|Kick to the Groin: Hogan Ephraim
||Yeah, you heard me. See above.
|Kick to the Groin: Robert Earnshaw
||When you have time, aim.
|Golden Trophy: Jonathan Osorio
||Son, you are a bloody star.|
|Golden Trophy: Good weather
||Nice of you to show up...
|Shots off Target||5||4|
|Passing Accuracy (%)||72||71|