FC Cincinnati Defeat Toronto FC in Terry Dunfield's Final Match as Interim Head Coach
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Saturday, September 30, 2023
FC Cincinnati came into BMO Field and secured the full three points against a resilient Toronto FC side that saw 4 goals scored in the first half before the Eastern Conference leaders regrouped and took control in the second half.
Toronto hosted Cincinnati in a match that pitted the top seed team in the Eastern Conference against the last place team in the Eastern Conference.
Unfortunately for coach Terry Dunfield, he was forced to use one of his substitutions in the 9th minute after an apparent injury to Deandre Kerr. Due to Kerr being forced to sub off, Hugo Mbongue got an opportunity to make an impression in the attack.
There were some sloppy moments by TFC's backline in the 16th minute as captain Michael Bradley gave the ball way after receiving the ball from a goal-kick by Lucas Gavran. Luckily for Bradley, they were able to recover the ball but it was definitely a close call.
FC Cincinnati got on the scoresheet in the 28th minute after Brandon Vazquez received a cross pass and then brought the ball down and struck a perfectly placed shot off his left foot that went into the back of the net.
Cincinnati extended their lead in the 35th minute and it was Vazquez who was once again in the right place at the right time as he took advantage off a rebound by striking the ball past Gavran for his second of the match.
Moments later, Toronto would take advantage of a rebound of their own as Bernardeschi's shot was stopped by Roman Celentano but the Cinicinnati goalkeeper couldn't maintain control, which resulted in Jonathan Osorio getting to the ball in time and striking the ball into the the net.
The goal reignited a spark for Toronto and saw Osorio add a second goal in the 43rd minute. The Canadian midfielder headed the ball past Celentano, which provided a much needed morale boost for the TFC faithful as they went into halftime after having scored the equalizer and the momentum in their favour.
After both teams exchanged chances in the first 20-minutes of the second half, FC Cincinnati regained the lead after captain Luciano Acosta found teammate Aaron Boupendza with a nice pass and the striker made no mistake as he took a touch beat Gavran on the far side with a perfectly struk shot off his left foot. It was a crucial goal for the visitors as they had 2-0 in the first half before Toronto responded and levelled the scoring prior to halftime.
Toronto were unable to score an equalizer like they did in the first half and lost another game at home. It was Terry Dunfield's final match as TFC's interim head coach as incoming head coach John Herdman will officially take over the reins tomorrow.
Lorenzo Insigne was once again ruled out of the lineup for Toronto as the Italian winger is still dealing with a lower body injury, which also kept him out of last week's match with New York City FC.
Toronto were most recently mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, so it was interesting to see what tactics and changes Dunfield would implement as the club will continue to look to build for next season. The ongoing discussion the club's Designated Players will continue to linger as Herdman gets better acquainted with the roster and where each player fits into his system.