Toronto FC and Nashville SC Play to 1-1 Draw
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Saturday, June 10, 2023
Toronto FC and Nashville SC played to a 1-1 draw as the home side were unable to maintain their lead after an otherwise strong first half performance.
Toronto head coach Bob Bradley made a few changes to his starting lineup as the returning Jonathan Osorio slotted into a midfield trio with Mark-Anthony Kaye and Federico Bernardeschi, and wore the captain's armband for tonight's match. Despite Toronto picking up points since their last home match, fans still booed Bradley during the opening introductions.
It was a homecoming of sorts as former TFC players Lukas MacNaughton and Jacob Shaffelburg returned to BMO Field to play their former club and were included in Nashville's starting lineup.
As a result of the changes, Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty and Kosi Thompson, who have both been effective when given their opportunity in starting minutes, began the match on the bench.
Bernardeschi started in the middle as opposed to the right-wing, which allowed him to create more and facilitate to his teammates quicker. He was more engaged in the middle as he linked up with Lorenzo Insigne and spotted CJ Sapong with through balls, but he couldn't get a clear shot on target.
Unfortunately for MacNaughton, he was forced to sub off in the 26th minute due to an injury, which cut his return to BMO Field short.
Toronto had an opportunity to get on the scoresheet in the 35th minute as they were awarded a free-kick in a favorable position outside Nashville's box. Insigne stepped up to take the kick, but his shot went off the wall.
Insigne made up for it in the 38th minute as he scored a fantastic goal to give Toronto the 1-0 lead. It was a wonderful strike for the Italian as he continues to find his form and consistency after missing an extended period of time earlier this season.
TFC had a great opportunity to extend their lead in the 42nd minute as Bernardeschi spotted Kerr with a through ball, but he struck it wide of the net as he attempted to beat goalkeeper Joe Willis on the far-side.
It was a positive 45-minutes for Bradley's side as they went into halftime with a 1-0 lead and the momentum in their favor. Osorio's return was definitely an upgrade and provided much needed depth to the roster, which had been plagued with injuries this season.
Toronto had their moments to start the second half as they had Nashville on their heels and found success outside the box.
Kobe Franklin had a stellar performance on the backline as he was crucial in breaking up Nashville's plays and made plenty of well-timed challenges to the delight of the TFC faithful. Nashville would eventually find the back of the net after Mabika bailed out Johnson and made a stop only for the ball to find its way to Leal, who scored the equalizer.
Despite their best efforts in the final moments of the match, Toronto had to settle for a point at home as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
TFC will have some time off as their next match is on June 21, when they take on FC Cincinnati. Their next home match is on Canada Day, when they host Real Salt Lake.
Photo Credit: Toronto FC (@TorontoFC - Twitter)