TFC lose to Vancouver, end playoff hopes

The final whistle in the Toronto FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps match meant more than just the end of the game, but for TFC it meant the end of their season.

Just a year ago this same team won the MLS Cup and statistically became one of the best MLS teams in history. With the loss to Vancouver on Saturday it means they will be watching the MLS playoffs from home.

It was a day to forget. Actually make it a season to forget for TFC.

After last weeks win at home which saw TFC play like the team who won it all a season ago, things looked promising. It looked like there was hope with four games remaining. Instead from the opening whistle to the final whistle on Saturday, they looked like a team who had already conceded.

From the second the ball rolled to kickoff the match, Vancouver set the tone. High pressure didn’t give TFC anytime to move the ball, let alone catch their breath.

It didn’t take long for Vancouver to be rewarded for their efforts. Just three minutes into the match it was Russell Teibert who was on the receiving end of a through ball and he managed to sneak it by Alex Bono – who got a piece of it – and into the bottom corner to make it 1-nil.

The goal sucked the life out of TFC and BMO Field, but this wasn’t the first time the team has been on the ropes.

With the team on the ropes and desperate, Toronto would still struggle to get anything going. Bad touches, errant passes, and nobody looking mentally or physically ready to play. They would muster up a great chance midway through the half but Stefan Marinovic, who took a shutout into half, would turn it away.

The second half meant do or die for Toronto. A tie or loss would be the end to TFC’s season so two goals would be needed. With two goals needed Toronto turned to none other than Jozy Altidore who always seems to score in big moments.

Altidore didn’t start the match due to nursing an ankle injury but with the season on the line you do anything you can to win.

What didn’t help was Gregory van der Wiel being sent off in the 66th minute for picking up his second yellow.

But even after the red card, Toronto would convert thanks to an Altidore penalty shot. Life was pumped back into BMO Field, with the home team only needing one more goal and some strong defensive play.

Either of those would happen, instead it was defensive play which let TFC down, just five minutes after equalizing. Kei Kamara came in untouched between two defenders to convert a cross.

It was a lead Vancouver wouldn’t surrender even with a late surge from Toronto.

So after such a brilliant campaign a year ago, Toronto has failed to make the playoffs, meaning there will be a new MLS Cup champion.

Toronto still has three games left this season. The primary focus will be preparing for next year, meaning the upcoming matches will see some players who haven’t seen the pitch much this season along with some possible reserve team players.

The only positive to take out of this season is Toronto will still compete in the CONCACAF Champions League thanks to their win in the Canadian Championship against Vancouver.

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