Toronto FC 2, Tottenham Hotspur 3 | International Friendly Match Recap
TORONTO FC – Toronto FC and Tottenham Hotspur did not disappoint in their international friendly on Wednesday night, with Toronto storming back from a two-goal deficit in a wild second half, only to fall 3-2 to a late winner from Andros Towsend.
Erik Lamela gave Spurs a 2-0 lead at halftime before Toronto FC mounted an impressive comeback, equalizing in the second half through Andrew Wiedeman and Academy product Jordan Hamilton.
Lamela was a particular cause of headaches on the left wing, forcing Chris Konopka into making a save in the 14th minute. Two minutes later, Lamela found another chance after being released by a smart dummy from Aaron Lennon, and this time he buried it into the side netting to give Tottenham the lead.
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Toronto, however, had some chances of their own following the opener. Of particular note was one smart pass from Gilberto to release Jermain Defoe on a breakaway, and the former Tottenham forward would have likely gotten on the end of it had ex-US international goalkeeper Brad Friedel not leapt on the ball in the last second.
But after failing to equalize, Toronto FC were punished once again on the left wing, with Roberto Soldado holding up the ball between Doneil Henry and Bradley Orr before turning and once again finding a streaking Lamela on the left. The Argentine winger once again cracked a shot past Konopka and hit the side of the goal, giving Tottenham a two-goal advantage at the half.
As promised, Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen made plenty of changes at half time, subbing on seven players for the start of the second half; Tottenham, too, made a bevy of changes,10 in total.
The second half was decidedly more in Toronto FC’s favor, with the home side controlling the ball and creating dangerous opportunities in front of goal. Daniel Lovitz, in particular, looked threatening on the left wing, and for 20 minutes, Toronto FC dictated the tempo against Tottenham.
That pressure finally paid off in the 65th minute when Lovitz intercepted the ball from an advanced position and quickly pushed forward, slipping a through ball over to Andrew Wiedeman, who coolly slotted home the ball, giving Toronto FC a goal back.
Seven minutes later, the Reds scored once more with Wiedeman turning provider for 18-year-old TFC Academy graduate Jordan Hamilton, who controlled the ball easily and shot past Friedel to level the score at 2-2.
And, despite pulling back from a 2-0 deficit, Toronto FC didn’t turn down the pressure, smelling a third goal. However, a mishandled pass in midfield by Kyle Bekker allowed Tottenham to spring onto a quick four-on-three counter attack, which Townsend crushed into the top corner for a 3-2 lead in the 86th minute.
Toronto FC next host Sporting Kansas City in MLS play on Saturday while Tottenham continue their North American tour, traveling to face the Chicago Fire that same day.