FC Cincinnati got a first look at Jozy Altidore tonight and it is unlikely they will want another. The American striker did what he has done in his last four matches for the reds, finding the back of the net in style with an incredible strike from outside the box.
The goal was the difference in a 2-1 win for Toronto against the struggling MLS newcomers. Nick DeLeon added the opener for the reds off of a corner kick, while Emmanuel Ledesma scored the lone goal for the visitors.
As would be expected, Toronto enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half as the visitors were content to sit back and absorb pressure. Alejandro Pozuelo, in particular, caused all sorts of issues in the early going.
It took Toronto 16 minutes before they turned all that pressure into a goal, for just the second time this season off of a corner kick. Pozuelo’s delivery was won in the air by Omar Gonzalez, and ultimately deflected by DeLeon into the back of the net.
DeLeon had another fantastic performance on the night. He has really been one of Toronto’s most consistent performers this season and as such surely one of the first names in Greg Vanney’s team sheets this season when healthy.
Toronto continued to pour on the pressure thereafter, but couldn’t quite get the finished product right. Jacob Shaffelberg again caused all sorts of issues down the left flank as he confidently took several shots. HIs efforts would go unrewarded, however.
DeLeon then turned provider as he continued his exceptional season with an assist on Toronto’s second goal of the night. But, ultimately, it was Altidore who was worthy of all the praise as he swiveled and struck the ball into the top corner in one of the best goals of the season scored by a red.
TFC, however, made things unnecessarily difficult for themselves eight minutes later. The backline didn’t react quick enough to a giveaway from Quentin Westberg and the ball fell to Ledesma in the box who made no mistake and cut the score to 2-1.
This made for an unnecessarily nervy final few moments for Toronto FC, who absolutely needed the win after several Eastern Conference rivals picked up points today. In the end, however, Cincinnati didn’t have nearly enough ideas to break down TFC’s backline.
The win is Toronto’s ninth on the season, to go along with nine losses and five draws. For the time being it puts them one point out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference after New England Revolution picked up a big win today.