TORONTO – It was there for Toronto FC defender Jeremy Hall.
A cross from Ryan Johnson in the 64th minute found its way to the right back just outside the six-yard box and after one clever move, he had D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid at his mercy.
But as he tried to blast the ball home for the opening goal, Hall instead shanked the ball, sending it parallel to the goal line and to the waiting feet of a D.C. defender.
It was another chance gone wrong for the Reds, and a late goal on a mistake by goalkeeper Milos Kocic doomed them to a 1-0 loss, bumping their winless streak to 12 games.
“I put myself in a good position, cut it back and should have swung my left foot,” Hall told reporters after the game. “I don’t know why I decided to go with my right. I ended up mis-hitting it really bad. It’s one I should have definitely had. I probably make that nine times out of 10. It’s frustrating. I’d love to have that one back.”
Toronto head coach Paul Mariner was a little more forgiving of his defender.
“Jeremy is in a very unusual position in the penalty area where he’s usually in our penalty area, defending,” Mariner said. “Jeremy normally is technically very good, but he just couldn’t put it away. A lot of people miss chances – that’s why goalscorers get all the dough.”
Three minutes before his missed chance, Hall looked more comfortable, making a good run to set up another one of Toronto’s better chances.
As the 24-year-old Tampa, Fla., native approached the penalty area, he played a give-and-go with Andrew Wiedeman and passed to Johnson on his left, with the Jamaican's shot from just inside the penalty area forcing a diving save from Hamid.
“We thought we played well,” Hall said. “I think Bill made a couple of good saves and really kept us off the board. It’s just how it’s been all year, playing well, putting good chances in and giving up just a fluke goal.
“Everybody knows Milos makes that nine times out of 10. It’s just been the story of our season this year and it’s frustrating. We did play well, it’s a positive. Hopefully can get some injured guys fit and get ready for Montreal [Oct. 20], a rivalry game that we’re going to be up for.”