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Toronto FC spoils Ibrahimovic’s milestone night

Toronto FC spoils Ibrahimovic’s milestone night

It was a milestone night for Zlatan Ibrahimovic who scored the 500th goal of his career, but TFC was able to spoil the party and keep their playoff hopes alive with a wild 5-3 win.

The task was straightforward, win the game and take all points available on Saturday night for Toronto FC. How they were going to execute it was a different story.

Right out of the gate all eyes were on Ibrahimovic but it was TFC who broke through and took the early lead.

Victor Vazquez put the Reds on the board in the fifth minute after heading home a great cross from Gregory van der Wiel to make it 1-0. Vazquez returned to TFC’s starting lineup after exiting their last game in the first half due to a back injury.

‘Big game, big Jozy’ we have heard TFC head coach Greg Vanney say in the past. This was a big game and yes Altidore would deliver in the 16th minute to make it 2-0. His sixth goal in 10 games and third in last two matches.

And the Reds didn’t stop there. Off a play, Sebastian Giovinco played a ball to Altidore, but he and his defender both fell paving the way for Giovinco to pick up his own pass and hammer it home to make it 3-0. It looked as if TFC was running away with it until Toronto was wowed.

The Galaxy would wake up following the goal, hitting a post and finally beating Alex Bono late in the first half thanks to none other than Ibrahimovic who scored in the only way he can, doing something mind-blowing. He was on the receiving end of a ball over the top and acrobatically swung his leg like a helicopter and into the bottom corner. A goal, which lifted the fans out of their seats at BMO Field for a standing ovation.

“It’s not the first time I’ve gotten a standing ovation from the away team,” said Ibrahimovic. “I feel the away supporters become like my home supporters because I see them excited when they see me play and even if I miss they pretend to whistle but they don’t really whistle because they do that because they want to show that they are loyal to their home team. Deep inside I know they’re my fans.”

That was the only one to beat Bono in the first half. Bono returned to the crease for TFC after being benched two weeks ago against LAFC for poor play as of late. He responded in a big way making multiple saves including one on the goal line but had no chance to even track where it was going to go on Ibra’s finish.

The second half was even until Ola Kamara flew through the crowd and headed one home off a free kick to make it 3-2. Just minutes later with TFC on their heels, it was Rolf Feltscher who headed one past Bono to complete the comeback and tie the game at three; stunning TFC and silencing the sold-out crowd at BMO Field.

But through resilience and some good ball movement, TFC broke through in the 75th minute on a goal from none other than Jonathan Osorio, the hometown boy with his tenth of the season to make it 4-3.

In the dying minutes, Jay Chapman sealed it off for TFC potting home a mad scramble in front.

Many people wondered how TFC would cover Ibrahimovic. Bradley was glued to him from the opening whistle and the one time he switched off of him, Ibra scored a wild goal.

Things also got a little heated late in the match between Ibrahimovic and Bradley off a bad tackle and many players arguing while surrounding the referee. The exchange of words continued for a few minutes and Ibrahimovic didn’t hold back following the match.

“He thinks he’s the philosopher of football,” said Ibrahimovic. “He doesn’t know I have more goals than he has games.”

TFC needed to come out flying especially after their last outing which saw them lose 4-2 to LAFC, followed by being called out by team captain Bradley. The win wasn’t how they would have drawn it up but nonetheless, they will take the three points.

As for Ibrahimovic, he applauds his teams effort despite the loss.

“We have a big will, we have a good moral in the team and good character,” said Ibrahimovic. “It was positive but still negative in the way that we lost.”

The win was huge for TFC, especially since Montreal also won in their game.

With the TFC win and Montreal winning, no ground was made in their playoff push, but it’s a big deal they didn’t fall behind even more than they are.

“Compliments to Toronto because they will be remembered for my 500th goal,” said Ibrahimovic. “If I want to be positive today I am happy for the fans that came out today and they got to see something like that.”

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