TORONTO – Unable to break down a solid Red Bulls back line in the final third, Toronto FC settled for a 0-0 draw at BMO Field on Saturday afternoon.
Despite looking like the more motivated team against a New York side that looked disinterested for much of the match, Toronto also looked very much like a squad that was clearly missing veteran striker and leading goal scorer Robert Earnshaw, who was unable to play due to a hamstring injury.
After a scoreless first half in which Toronto often looked the more dangerous side but also failed to take advantage of numerous opportunities, especially on dead ball situations, the home team continued to look more industrious and likely to put one in the back of the net during the latter half of the tie.
Even with young midfielders such as Matias Laba and Jonathan Osorio facilitating numerous instances of quality build-up play, Toronto did not really test Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles until the 74th minute when right back Richard Eckersly blasted a shot that the New York shot stopper just tipped over the cross bar.
More surprisingly, TFC 'keeper Joe Bendik also had a quiet day at the office, with Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and Fabian Espindola in particular doing little to make their presence felt.
New York looked like they might have been closing in on a winner during stoppage time when Red Bulls substitute forward Marius Obekop thoroughly undressed Eckersley deep in the Toronto box. However, Laba once again broke up the play on an afternoon in which TFC’s young Designated Player was the clear best player on the pitch.
With the draw, Toronto saw their current winless run stretched to six games while New York extended their undefeated streak against TFC to nine games (6-0-3) since June 2009.
New York will be back in action at home on Saturday, July 27 against Real Salt Lake. TFC will also play next Saturday against the Columbus Crew in their second straight fixture at BMO Field.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Luis Robles||The goalkeeper's game-saving stop on a deflected Richard Eckersley shot was the biggest play of the game.|
|2||Matias Laba||Toronto's Designated Player has his most influential performance since joining the club, breaking up plays and even showcasing in the attack.|
|3||Jamison Olave||If not for the defensive efforts by Olave and centerback partner Markus Holgersson, Toronto's hard work may have resulted in a goal or two.|