Ralph Priso scored the winning goal for Toronto FC in their 2-1 victory over Atlanta United on Saturday night.
Priso’s second half rocket was the difference between the two Eastern Conference foes, with TFC grabbing a valuable three points at home.
With Lorenzo Insigne’s welcome party on Friday, and the Italian in attendance for the clash against Atlanta, it was a high-spirited affair on the lakeshore from opening kickoff. The home side seemed to play off this energy, going at the visitors from the opening minutes and pressuring the ball with intensity.
Jonathan Osorio opened the scoring in his return to the starting eleven after a smart pass from Jayden Nelson played the midfielder into a dangerous area. Osorio would cut in and make no mistake with the finish, grabbing an early lead for his team. Insigne looked on proudly, applauding the goal from his seat at BMO Field.
Chances were few and far between for Atlanta United in the opening frame. A free kick effort from Marcelino Moreno which sailed wide was the best chance for the visitors before the half.
Stifling CF Montréal midweek in the Canadian Championship and earning a rare clean sheet in the process, Toronto again looked solid at the back, not giving Josef Martinez and company a sniff.
Nelson had a chance of his own in the first, just narrowly missing after his shot was deflected away for a corner in the 37th minute.
After what was maybe Toronto FC’s most impressive half of football of the season, the Reds only had one goal to show for it.
Atlanta looked up for it coming out of the dressing room, knowing they would need to improve after a lacklustre opening 45.
In the 57th minute, Luiz Araujo made a long run and glided past Chris Mavinga to make it 1-1.
Just minutes later, the Brazilian would make a similar move, having his shot deflected wide in the end.
In the 69th, Araujo got in behind the Toronto backline before having the ball knocked away by Quentin Westberg who did well to rush out of his goal and stop the former Lille man in his tracks.
TFC replied with some chances of their own before their eventual winner.
Another deflection got in-between Jacob Shaffelburg and the back of the Atlanta goal, with the winger’s shot hitting the side netting.
Soon after, Deandre Kerr would have a chance from inside the area, missing just wide.
Second half substitute Ralph Priso would be there hero for the Reds on the night. Hitting it from outside of the box, the young Canuck scored just his second MLS goal to give Toronto a lead they would not give up.
Toronto FC continue their four match home stand in the league against Columbus Crew on June 29th.