CCL Preview: TFC want to be sharper against Real Estelí
TORONTO — Winning the second half wasn’t good enough for Toronto FC in Kansas City, where they lost 4-2 on Saturday after being down 3-0 at the break. With little time to think about that league match, TFC will be looking for a more complete effort on Wednesday at BMO Field in another competition.
This time the Reds will have their sights set on a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage when they play Real Estelí of Nicaragua in their home leg of the preliminary round (8 pm ET, Fox Soccer). The teams will play again next week in Central America.
Forward Danny Koevermans, who scored his first goal for Toronto FC in his second game after signing as a Designated Player on June 29, did not want to hear anything about winning the second half in Kansas City.
“That doesn’t count,” he said, "we have to win the game."
And he feels he had the chance to make that possible in the opening minutes of the game at Kansas City when he had a big chance to give his team the lead, only to be thwarted by 'keeper Jimmy Nielsen.
“That’s why I feel sorry for my teammates,” Koevermans said. “I didn’t make the first chance. When it’s 0-0 I have to score it, that’s important. I scored a goal when we we’re 3-0 down, that’s nothing. So I hope the next game that a chance comes up again and I make it and it will be an important one so we get the points.”
That next time comes soon enough.
“We have to keep in mind the first 20 minutes and the second half [of Saturday’s match],” Koevermans said. “Try to forget the last 25 minutes of the first half and just continue. Every game starts at 0-0. We just have to be strong and be ready to give them some nice games in Toronto.”
One of the other new faces in Toronto, Jamaican attacker Ryan Johnson, echoed Kovermans’ comments.
“We can’t go down 3-0 and expect to win,” said Johnson, who also scored his first goal for TFC in his second game with the team. “Next game we have to start better and put away our chances early, and it’s a different game.”
Toronto did outscore Kansas City 2-1 in the second half on Saturday and Johnson hopes the team learned something from it for Wednesday’s match.
“It showed the team has heart, but we just have to be a little harder to break down at times,” Johnson said. “That’s something we need to work on and take ownership as a team. We have to learn from our mistakes for the next game.”