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Toronto FC left to bemoan missed chances in 0-0 draw with Sporting Kansas City

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The Reds had enough opportunities to win their home opener but could not convert.

MLS: Sporting KC at Toronto FC Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC were held to their second 0-0 draw of the season by Sporting Kansas City in the home opener at BMO Field on Friday night.

Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio both had excellent chances to win the game but the Reds did not test visiting goalkeeper Tim Melia nearly as often as they should have given the number of opportunities they created.

Giovinco also curled a free-kick against the crossbar but the evening could have been even more frustrating for Toronto had substitute goalkeeper Alex Bono not produced a couple of timely saves. Bono replaced Clint Irwin at the end of the first half after the starter suffered a knee injury.

Vazquez shows his class without reward

Victor Vazquez made his second start for Toronto and his first at BMO Field, and produced exactly what he was signed for.

The Spaniard played countless passes through the channels to release the likes of Giovinco, Steven Beitashour and Raheem Edwards in and around the penalty area, but the final pass his teammates then attempted was too often found lacking.

As a disciplined Sporting KC side attempted to block Toronto’s route through the midfield in the first half, Vazquez ensured - after a slow start for the team as a whole - that the Reds had a regular, fluid supply of passes finding their forwards and wide players. He will make a major difference.

Osorio’s finishing lets him down

Osorio does so much well - he is a mobile, creative and skilled midfielder who played a significant part in some of Toronto’s best moves in this match and has probably taken a step ahead of Armando Cooper in the pecking order.

But he just cannot finish.

Osorio had no fewer than four good chances to score in the first half, sending three shots from good positions flying over the crossbar. He had also needed to take just an extra step or two to be in line to convert the Beitashour cross that passed through Giovinco’s legs.

Some - myself included - hopefully speculated that Osorio may have turned a corner at the end of last season, when he scored three goals in his last seven games. That looks a foolish call now, but what is beyond doubt is that the 24-year-old knows where to go for a good look; sooner or later he simply must start converting them.

More positives than negatives

Toronto didn’t have it all their own way in this game; Sporting KC pressed effectively at times and their attack, led by the lively Soony Saad on the left wing, tested both Irwin and Bono. Late in the second half, there were a couple of heart-in-mouth moments on the counter-attack.

The Reds looked comfortably the more likely team to break the deadlock, however, and a third clean sheet in four MLS games is nothing to be sniffed at. We said it after Real Salt Lake and we’ll say it again - Toronto will win far more often than they lose playing like this and it is far too early in the season to be concerned by the fact that they have now been held off the scoresheet twice.

A bigger negative than the dropped points at this stage is the injury to Irwin, which looked potentially serious. Bono is excellent cover but as much as it might relieve Greg Vanney of a few questions about the identity of his best goalkeeper, the more experienced head will be missed.

Who’s up next?

Toronto FC host MLS newcomers Atlanta United next Saturday at BMO Field. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.