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Toronto FC Ends Regular Season with Win Over Chicago Fire

Despite the win, Toronto FC failed to pass New York City FC in the standings and get a bye through the first round.

Luke Galati

Toronto FC finished the 2016 MLS Regular Season on a high note, with a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Fire. It was their first win to end an MLS season since 2013, and gives the team something to build on going into the playoffs.

Jonathan Osorio scored the winning goal for Toronto FC midway through the second half. Sebastian Giovinco and Justin Morrow also scored for Toronto, while Michael De Leeuw and John Goossens had goals for the visiting Chicago Fire.

As is becoming a concerning trend, Toronto FC once again allowed their opponent to score the opening goal of the match. A give and go saw De Leeuw played in down the right-hand side of the Toronto box. His wide-angle shot snuck by Clint Irwin at the near post, a shot that really should have been saved by the keeper.

It came against the grain, as for the rest of the half it was Toronto FC on the front foot. They created several chances, but as has also been the case far too consistently lately they were unable to put them away. Giovinco was particularly impressive in the opening minutes, but all of his attempts were foiled.

He finally got a clear chance to put Toronto ahead when he was awarded a penalty kick after being brought down in the box in the 45th minute. He stepped up and calmly slotted the ball past Patrick McLain in the Chicago Fire goal.

It meant Toronto FC went into the half tied at 1-1 having been the better team, but still not nearly good enough against the league's last-place team. It left Toronto with plenty to do in the second half if they wanted to get their first win since they last played Chicago Fire on September 10.

But Toronto was more than up to the task in what was their best half of the month. They took the lead in the 54th minute courtesy of a brilliant header by Morrow. Michael Bradley took a restart quickly, and found Giovinco behind the Chicago backline. The atomic ant did very well to find an open Morrow for the goal.

Toronto doubled their lead shortly thereafter, when Osorio found himself with the ball in the Fire box after a nice ball in from Armando Cooper. Osorio slalomed through Fire defenders before slotting the ball into the top of the net for what was a brilliant goal.

Chicago pulled one back late in the second half when, during a scramble, the ball found its way to John Goosens in the box who smashed it home to make the match 3-2. Chicago had some late chances after that, but nothing that really troubled Irwin in the Toronto goal.

The win ended up being somewhat meaningless for Toronto FC in the grand scheme of things, as a New York City victory over the Columbus Crew meant that they locked up a second place spot in the East. Toronto will now play the Philadelphia Union midweek in a knockout round game at BMO Field. It will be the first home playoff game in club history.