Toronto FC II lost their second straight on the road on Wednesday night, 2-0 to the Rochester Rhinos after Brandon Onkony was shown a debatable red card in the 26th minute.
Playing on short rest Jason Bent shook up his lineup with several changes, returning to the 3-5-2 formation after playing in a 3-4-3 for the last two months or so. Ricardo John and Shaan Hundal started up top, while Aidan Daniels dropped into the midfield alongside Brian James and Sergio Camargo. Onkony made his first start since facing Harrisburg at the start of the month slotted in on the left-side of the back three.
After a Kenardo Forbes tester from range in the sixth minute, TFC sparked to life, taking the match to the Rhinos as they had called for in the build-up.
A strong move in-field from Jordan McCrary led to a chance for Daniels, whose right-footer from the top of the box tested Rochester keeper, Daniel Lynd, forcing a diving save with the shot bound for the bottom left-corner of the goal.
From the ensuing corner kick, Ryan Telfer rose up well at the back-post to get on the end of Camargo's delivery, putting in on frame only for Lynd to swat it away with a big paw. Before Onkony could pounce on the rebound it was cleared and the whistle blew for a foul.
Mark Pais had to be sharp early, forced to rush off his line in the fourteenth minute when Jalen Brown looked to break onto a long-ball that got behind the Toronto defense as they stepped high into the midfield. That aggressive positioning would prove costly in the coming minutes.
Further foreshadowing came two minutes later when Brown darted into the left-side of the area, necessitating a solid defensive intervention from Julian Dunn, who neatly stripped the ball off his foot.
Come the eighteenth minute, TFC II had an excellent chance for a set-piece after Camargo was tripped up as he cut back inside away from Brandon Beresford. Daniels stood over the dead-ball, but his right-footer could not beat the Rochester wall.
A minute later John corralled a bouncing ball in the arc, forcing another good save out of Lynd with a low driven shot that bound for the left-side of goal.
John had another half-chance come the 26th minute when Camargo sparked a counter, forcing an interception and driving up field. He held off the pressure of defenders to slip in the striker, but Lynd was quick off his line to slide and block John's attempt to touch past the keeper.
But then came the red card.
Lynd hoofed the ball up-field after getting to his feet, putting Darius Madison in alone on Onkony. The two jostled for position as the ball arrived, with Madison initiating contact with Onkony in search of possession and space. As he fell, Onkony appeared to reach out and grab Madison, who made the most of the infraction, letting gravity do the rest.
The referee duly showed a red card to the TFC defender after only the slightest hesitation, reducing the Young Reds to ten men for the remaining hour-plus of action. Forbes would send the ensuing free-kick high and wide of the top right corner.
Down a man, TFC II switched to a flat back-four, and when finally allowed to make a substitute, replaced Hundal with Malik Johnson, replacing a striker with a midfielder.
With half-time approaching, Rochester pressed to take advantage of their numerical supremacy. Raymond Lee sent in a troublesome ball from the left that was nearly met by Madison, who went down in a heap after getting tangled with Mitch Taintor. The announcers seemed to think a penalty was a possibility, but Madison did not protest and it appeared in his lunge he caught the defender's legs.
Pais was on hand in the 36th minute to deny Stefan Defragger when a ball from Brown on the left was touched to the midfielder by Madison, sending a goal-bound effort towards the bottom right-corner of the Toronto net.
The two would combine again in the 44th minute down the left-side with a neat one-two, but again Toronto's keeper was sharp to get a hand on the resulting toe-poke.
Heading out of the half scoreless, Toronto started the second well, but were soon under pressure as Rochester took advantage of the additional space.
A Defragger ball from the left was nearly met by a diving Madison in the 51st minute. Beresford was caught in two minds seconds later when he found himself in a good position, looking to pick out a teammate arriving at the left-post rather than going for goal. And two minutes later Beresford's right-footer from the top of the box was well-struck, but wide.
Rochester would have broken through the Toronto defenses in the 55th minute were it not for a wonderful intervention from Dunn. Todd Pratzner slipped a ball down the right-channel for Ryan James, who picked out the darting near-post move of Madison with his delivery, but Dunn tracked the move and squashed it with a fine tackle.
But the Rhinos were coming in waves and they would find their goal in the 58th minute. Forbes played a wonderful through-ball to Defragger scything into the area. Taintor spotted the danger and attempted to step onto it, but it eluded him, allowing Defragger to hit a right-footer past Pais to the left-side of goal. He would be booked for celebrating with his face over his shirt.
Their goal secured, the savvy Forbes was taken off in the 67th minute, replaced by Wal Fall, and Toronto made their second change in the 71st with Aikim Andrews coming on for Ricardo John, who had put in a shift pressuring the ball.
Rochester would have sniff at a second in the 73rd minute when Brown made space for a right-footer, but skied the effort off frame.
The second would come in the 76th minute, however, when Dunn tried once more to snuff out a move, only for the dangerous cross from Jordan Dover, who had just come on for James moments earlier, flung a ball towards the near-post for the streaking Madison. Dunn did all he could, but it was one of those plays. One of those nights.
The remaining quarter of an hour played out largely without incident. Camargo was replaced by Dante Campbell in the 79th minute, while Rochester swapped Antonio Correia for Brown in the last ten.
Toronto must dust themselves off for the third match of their eight-day road trip. Ahead lies a match in Ottawa, the third Ontario derby of the season.
If ever there was a match to get up for, this is it.
RCH – Stefan Defregger (Kenardo Forbes) 58’
RCH – Julian Dunn 76’ (OG)
TFC II – Brandon Onkony (Ejection) 26’
RCH – Stefan Defregger (Caution) 59’
RCH – Antonio Correia (Caution) 90’ + 3’
|Toronto FC II||Rochester Rhinos|
|Toronto FC II||Rochester Rhinos|
|Shots – 7||Shots – 16|
|Shots on Target – 2||Shots on Target – 4|
|Blocked Shots – 3||Blocked Shots – 2|
|Possession – 37.3%||Possession – 62.7%|
Toronto FC II – Mark Pais; Julian Dunn, Mitchell Taintor ©, Brandon Onkony; Jordan McCrary, Brian James, Aidan Daniels, Ryan Telfer, Sergio Camargo (Dante Campbell 79’); Ricardo John (Aikim Andrews 71’), Shaan Hundal (Malik Johnson 31’)
Substitutes Not Used: Angelo Cavalluzzo, Brandon Aubrey, Robert Boskovic, Liam Fraser
Rochester Rhinos – Daniel Lynd; Ryan James (Jordan Dover 74’), Todd Pratzner, Joseph Farrell, Ryan Felix, Raymond Lee; Stefan Defregger, Kenardo Forbes© (Wal Fall 67’), Brandon Beresford, Jalen Brown (Antonio Correia 81’); Darius Madison
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Morton, Bradley Kamdem Fewo, Michael Garzi, Jochen Graf
Toronto FC II (W-L-D): 3-11-5 14pts.
Rochester Rhinos (W-L-D): 7-3-8 29pts.