TORONTO (Wednesday, August 3, 2016) – Real Salt Lake held the 2015 MLS MVP at bay for 90 minutes, but it was a flick-on header and a breakout run that proved to be the difference as RSL fell 1-0 to Toronto FC 1-0 on Wednesday night at BMO Field in Toronto.
With a crowd of 27,859 at the newly-remodeled stadium, RSL held a possession advantage over TFC with 55.4% of possession while also putting three shots on goal to just two for Toronto. But it wasn’t enough to earn a road point after coming back for a 2-1 win on the road against the Philadelphia on Sunday.
Real Salt Lake nearly broke the game open early on a counter attack. DF Demar Phillips cleared away a corner kick and sprung FW Joao Plata into the attack. He got to the edge of the box before curling back and crossing to MF Kyle Beckerman for a header. It went wide of the far post and nearly found MF Javier Morales lunging, but went away for a goal kick.
By halftime, the shots would be level at 5-5, with RSL holding on tightly to keep a zero through the first half when Phillips made a great goal-line clearance of a shot by Sebastian Giovinco. In the 42nd minute, Toronto whipped in three shots in rapid succession, with Phillips leaping to head clear Giovinco’s shot in the middle of that flurry.
The teams continued a back-and-forth battle that again was nearly broken open, this time by Plata. After an initial ball from FW Olmes Garcia across the box in the 64th minute was defended clear, Morales played it back in to Plata on the left side for a first-time shot from close range that missed just wide of the far post as both teams continued to search for the opening goal.
In the 66th minute, Plata ran down a ball up the left side and crossed it to FW Juan Manuel Martinez for a diving header through traffic that missed just wide of the far post.
With the field tilted in favor of Salt Lake, Toronto FC burst out for the match’s first goal in the 68th minute.
Alex Bono sent a long ball up the field after an RSL goal was waved off for offside and Jozy Altidore flicked a header in behind the Salt Lake defense and Ricketts ran onto it before blasting it past GK Nick Rimando for his first goal of the season, putting RSL behind 1-0.
Real Salt Lake would force Bono into two late saves to preserve the lead, the first being likely the best chance to equalize. MF Luke Mulholland cracked a shot from distance that was blocked, but the deflection played Martinez behind the defense with a chance 1v1 with Bono, but the Toronto goalkeeper slid to block his shot off his foot for one of his three saves on the night.
RSL returns homme to face the Chicago Fire on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium where the Claret-and-Cobalt is unbeaten at 5-0-5 this season.
GAME NOTES – TFCvRSL
- With the loss, RSL falls to 3-2-4 against Eastern Conference opponents, the only losses coming during two-game road trips that also featured away wins.
- RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar made just two changes from the Sunday match against the Philadelphia Union, bringing DF Justen Glad on for DF Jamison Olave and MF John Stertzer for MF Luke Mulholland.
- Real Salt Lake has the highest road point total in the Western Conference at 4-7-2 (14 points).
REAL SALT LAKE 0-1 TORONTO FC
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2016
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
Toronto FC 0 1 1
TFC: Tosaint Ricketts (Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore) 68’
RSL: Aaron Maund (Caution; Foul) 88’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran (Devon Sandoval 86’), Justen Glad, Aaron Maund, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman, John Stertzer (Luke Mulholland 61’); Juan Manuel Martinez, Javier Morales (Omar Holness 78’), Joao Plata; Olmes Garcia.
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Phanuel Kavita, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert.
Toronto FC (4-4-2): Alex Bono; Steven Beitashour, Drew Moor, Josh Williams, Justin Morrow; Tsubasa Endoh (Nick Hagglund 83’), Marco Delgado, Jay Chapman (Jozy Altidore 56’), Jonathan Osorio; Sebastian Giovinco, Jordan Hamilton (Tosaint Ricketts 56’).
Substitutes not used: Quillan Roberts, Mo Babouli, Mark Bloom, Eriq Zavaleta.
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Claudiu Badea, Gianni Facchini
Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos
Weather: Mostly sunny and 77