It was a loss that did not have to be, as far as Toronto FC are concerned. They looked specifically at two hit posts in the second half, which might have made their 2-0 defeat at the Chicago Fire on Sunday a totally different ballgame.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
"It’s a funny game,” defender Andy Iro said after the loss at Toyota Park. “We had opportunities, [but] we hit the post. We kind of dominated the first half and they still ended up 1-0 up. If you don’t get back into the game, the longer it goes on the more opportunities they’re going to get because we’re pushing. That’s kind of what happened. I think it was a bad turnover that led to the corner and they managed to score the second goal.”
The match was still 1-0 when holding midfielder Julian de Guzman, who has scored twice in recent weeks, hit the right post on a shot from the edge of the box. Joao Plata then put the rebound just wide.
“Obviously [it gets the team down] a little bit because you want to score the goal,” Iro said. “But at the same time, me personally, I try to look at the positives and the fact that we are creating chances and I definitely go into games knowing we’re going to get opportunities.
“You want to score every chance and if we had done that maybe it would have been five, six-zero, but that’s really not how the game works. You look at the fact that we're creating chances and have over the last few games and take the positives from that.”
The second hit post came on a header from Ryan Johnson with the score 2-0.
“That’s football,” head coach Aron Winter said. “At the moment you unlock, then those balls are going to go in. But at that moment like today when you hit the post twice, often the ball comes back for a rebound and you get a chance for a shot on goal, but it didn’t go in the goal.
“For the most part, I think we played well even if we lost two-nil. We were not sharp with the finishing. That is something I think we can blame ourselves.”
That’s something TFC will have to work through, be it in the remainder of the MLS season or in CONCACAF Champions League play.
“It was kind of unlucky,” forward Peri Marosevic said. “Obviously the game would have been completely different if those went in. I guess, you know, a little unlucky on our side but at the end of the day we need to put them away.”
Winter echoed Marosevic’s analysis.
“To lose two-nil, it is hard,” Winter said. “But if you analyze the whole game I think we didn’t have to lose the game.”