A pair of goals from former Toronto FC strikers ruined what was otherwise another dominating home performance for TFC. It is to be expected at this point, but is still stunning how predictable a narrative that has become at BMO Field. The 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire felt a lot more like a loss than anything, and will do little to help Toronto's playoff case at 9-8-6 on the season.
Those aforementioned former strikers were none other than Robert Earnshaw and Quincy Amarikwa, both of whom equalized for the otherwise poor Chicago Fire. A Bakary Soumare own goal in the third minute and Gilberto's first home goal of the season had given the home side the lead on two separate occasions.
A breakdown of the match can be found here, but here's what's quickly becoming the mandatory Gilberto highlight and the post game quotes.
RYAN NELSEN - HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Thoughts on the match...
Well I thought we were pretty comfortable in the first half. Obviously losing Steven (Caldwell), our captain was a little unsettling for us and we were in pretty good control until then. Then that kind of happened and although we had a lot of the ball, a lot of possession, the analytical guys will say we had all the possession, but we really didn't do much with it. It was pretty comfortable possession in front of their team and they sat back and we didn't really punish them. We had a couple of really good chances and we kind of left them in the game. Obviously we conceded a soft goal and again losing Justin (Morrow) disrupted us. We needed some energy and we needed something, a lift, someone to grab the game by the back of the neck. I thought when Luke (Moore) came on he looked really good and we got ourselves a goal and could have made it three. Then that second goal was horrendous to tell you the truth. We've got to have a desire when an opposition player gets down to the end line we've got to have midfielders right on top of our backline defending our box. We were spectators, we kind of watched it hoping that someone would make the play but in the end it was a deflection bicycle kick that fell unfortunately to them and they punished us. We weren't in the right spots and we had guys just watching in comfortable positions. When you put yourself out of the arena to affect the game, things like this happen.
On the injuries to Seven Caldwell and Justin Morrow...
Steven (Caldwell) had a really good week of training and he just felt his same quad on one of the stretches that he made, which he probably made 50 times during this week, but unfortunately in the game he hit it. Luckily it wasn't as bad as the original one, it was just something that we had to pull him off because it was only going to get worse. With Justin (Morrow) it was his hamstring so we'll have to get that scanned. When we go down with injuries we seem to do it all at once.
Does it sting even more that the two goals were scored by former TFC players?
No, not at all. We wish all the best for all our former players. When any player scores against us it stings. Any former player from TFC we wish them all the best.
Dwayne De Rosario was dropped from the 18, is it safe to say that you haven't got what you wanted out of him this season?
No, not at all. We've got absolutely everything from Dwayne, he's been absolutely fantastic. He's been fantastic in the locker room and he's a great guy but I've got a premier league striker on the bench, I've got a Nigerian striker who would have been going to the World Cup on the bench. So it's a hard squad to make these days. This is a wee bit different and we've got to make tough decisions. Even Daniel Lovitz unfortunately didn't make it and Daniel has been absolutely brilliant for us. His (Dwayne) position is up for grabs now every time we play. They are under the microscope to play well because there are guys, Dwayne and Daniel being a couple of them, that really want to play.
JUSTIN MORROW - DEFENDER, TORONTO FC
What was the injury?
I just turned it. I felt in on a longer run right at the beginning of the second half. I just kind of felt it.
Any idea of how long you might be out?
I'm going to get it scanned on Monday and see how it is but I don't think it should be too bad. It's sore right now but it should be alright.
How gutted are you to see the team concede so late and throw away points?
Yes it's tough but we have to take a positive out of it in that it is a tie. We do expect more out of ourselves at home and we should get three points. So we are a little disappointed with that but we have a lot of games coming up, games that we should win.
GILBERTO - FORWARD, TORONTO FC
How did you feel scoring in successive games?
I'm very happy that I scored my first goal at home in my stadium in front of my fans. I feel the team is doing really good work right now but unfortunately we couldn't get the result. But I am really happy with the progress of the team.
Do you feel comfortable with Luke Moore upfront?
If you look back Jermain Defoe scored six or seven goals when we were playing together so it really has nothing to do with my comfort with Jermain or Luke. I'm happy now, I wasn't scoring goals and now I am.
MARK BLOOM - DEFENDER, TORONTO FC
Overall thoughts of getting back into a full game?
It was good for me to come off of injury and start my first time back. I felt like my fitness was good and I didn't focus about my knee at all. It didn't bother me at all so in my mind I'm back fully fit.
Tough to see Caldwell and Morrow going down to injury, did you feel some of the energy was deflated when they went out of the lineup?
Those two guys are crucial to our team. I mean you take our captain and a guy that has played every single game that is definitely hard. It takes away the heart of our defence but we have the players to cover them and I thought we did well. Unfortunately we gave up two goals.
FRANK YALLOP - HEAD COACH & DIRECTOR OF SOCCER, CHICAGO FIRE
What are your thoughts on the game?
Hard fought, coming back in any game always feels like you got something out of it as opposed to letting it slip. I'm really happy with the fight back and the spirit of the guys. Obviously quality wise we weren't quite there yet but the fighting spirit was great.
What are your thoughts on Robert Earnshaw's performance?
As TFC fans know, he knows where the net is. He hasn't played for a couple months now and he said he probably has 15 minutes in him and I said how 30 sounds. He's dangerous and he creates the second goal with his forcefulness and he is going to help us.
Great fight from your team and with a couple wins, you are right back in the playoffs...
Yeah, every team I manage I want them to fight hard. We've been in almost every game but we just don't have quite enough quality in all our positions to really dominate and take games over. We do have the fighting spirit and once we had a few key places.
QUINCY AMARIKWA - FORWARD, CHICAGO FIRE
What are your thoughts on the game?
We didn't make it easy on ourselves but as a team we fought together and we got the draw.
Talk about your goal and the development of the play.
We were trying to bring them into the middle and then get it out wide for some crosses.
What did you think of Robert Earnshaw's first game with a goal?
That's what we expected out of him and just to come off the bench and bring some energy. He came on and scored right away and hopefully this leads to more goals in the future. Hopefully we can build a little partnership.
ROBERT EARNSHAW - MIDFIELDER, CHICAGO FIRE
What was it like to be back in Toronto and score your first for Chicago?
It's like I haven't been away. Maybe just because it is a familiar ground and a place I am very fond of. I have been back and forth here; it's a great place that I like to come to. I'd like to thank everyone at Toronto as I never got a chance to really thank everyone here. From Ryan Nelsen to the whole organization, I just want to say thank you very much. The goal I scored was a welcome to Chicago but also a thank you very much to Toronto.
Must be nice to be back in Major League Soccer.
Yeah, I love to play. I enjoyed just coming on and getting the shirt on, getting a feel for the ball felt great. I want to get better on a personal level. I've come here to give something extra, contribute and help each teammate to do better with my experience and quality.
TFC- Soumare (OG) 3'
CHI- Earnshaw (Ward) 70'
TFC- Gilberto (Moore) 79'
CHI- Amarikwa (Palmer) 90'
CHI- Palmer (Misconduct) 20'
CHI- Alex (Misconduct) 39'
CHI- Soumare (Misconduct) 46'
TFC- Warner (Misconduct) 57'
CHI- Segares (Misconduct) 90'
Toronto FC: 9-8-6 (33 points)
Chicago Fire: 4-6-14 (26 points)
Toronto FC- Bendik, Morrow, Hagglund (Henry 22'), Caldwell, Bloom, Oduro, Warner, Bradley, Osorio, Gilberto, Defoe (Moore 77')
Unused Subs: Konopka, Orr, Jackson, Bekker, Dike
Chicago Fire- Johnson, Palmer, Larentowicz, Soumare, Segares, Nyassi (Earnshaw 65'), Watson, Alex, Shipp (Ward 58'), Cocis, Amarikwa
Unused Subs: Reynish, Ianni, Pause, Ritter, Fondy