Toronto FC's league-best defense finally wilted as the Vancouver Whitecaps torched them for four goals tonight at BMO Field. Toronto would score three of their own, but was unable to grab a victory, falling 4-3. It was their first home loss of the 2016 MLS season.
Pedro Morales scored the winning goal of the match late in the second half. Kekuta Manneh was the hero for Vancouver, scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist. Cristian Bolanos also found the back of the net for the Whitecaps. Sebastian Giovinco had a brace for Toronto FC, before setting up Drew Moor.
It was a disastrous start to the match for Toronto FC, who struggled from the first whistle. Poor passing at the back saw Manneh break through the Toronto backline. He made no mistake when unwrapping the gift that Toronto FC handed him, giving the Whitecaps the lead just 12 minutes into the match.
Six minutes later, the nightmare continued as the Whitecaps doubled their lead. Manneh once again broke through the Toronto backline, but his shot was stopped by Clint Irwin in the Toronto goal. Bolanos was there to score on the rebound, however, and give Vancouver a big early lead.
Jozy Altidore had a chance to cut into that lead when Toronto FC was given a penalty midway through the half. The struggling Toronto striker stepped up to the spot, looking to score his first of the season. His poorly taken penalty was stopped by David Ousted in the Vancouver net. Shortly thereafter, he would be substituted off with a hamstring injury.
Toronto FC finally found some life just before half-time. A long ball from Damien Perquis was brought down brilliantly by Giovinco in the Vancouver Whitecaps area. He turned two defenders before sliding the ball past David Ousted in the Vancouver goal. The goal was his 29th for Toronto FC, breaking the club record for most goals in MLS play.
Giovinco was back at it again in the second half, tieing the game 2-2 in the 66th minute. This time, Michael Bradley did the heavy lifting, sending a brilliant ball into the box for the Italian to finish calmly. It was his eighth goal of the season for Toronto FC.
Vancouver did not take long to regain their lead, however. Manneh once again made Toronto FC pay for their poor defending, scoring his second of the night in incredible fashion. His goal mimicked last year's goal by Giovinco against the New York Red Bulls, as Manneh slalomed through the Toronto backline.
Shortly thereafter, Vancouver once again doubled their lead through a goal from Morales. Another giveaway in the Toronto midfield saw Manneh play a long ball behind Toronto's defence. Morales' shot found the side netting, and put Vancouver up 4-2.
A window opened up for Toronto to get back in the game minutes later when Fraser Aird was sent off for a late challenge on Jonathan Osorio. It was Aird's second yellow of the match, and his fellow Canadian looked to be in major discomfort as he was helped off the field and down the tunnel.
Not willing to die, Toronto once again made it close in the 80th minute. A Giovinco corner found Moor at the back post, and the defender headed home his first in a Toronto FC uniform.
The goal was too little too late. Toronto FC created many more chances, but could not bury any of them as they suffered their first home loss of 2016. A win would have put Toronto FC first in the Eastern Conference, but with a loss they could fall down the standings depending upon later results.