TORONTO – With a makeshift lineup lacking five key starters, Toronto FC looked set to come up with a result at BMO Field, but a 77th-minute breakdown gave the Colorado Rapids a 1-0 victory over the home side and left TFC’s players wanting more.
“It’s a bitter pill to swallow, to be fair,” central defender Bradley Orr told MLSsoccer.com after the game. “Very disappointed not to get more from the game but that’s how it goes sometimes. Against the run of play they’ve popped up and put one away and we just couldn’t quite crack them. We hit the woodwork a couple times, huffed and puffed, give it everything we could but it wasn’t meant to be.
“As much as we are disappointed, we’ve just got to put that one behind us very quickly and take some positives out of the game, work on things that went wrong and look forward to the next one,” Orr added.
The goal came after Toronto FC were caught on the counterattack, with Dillon Serna and Dillon Powers combining in Toronto’s box before finding Edson Buddle prowling in the area. Buddle slipped past two Toronto defenders and beat Júlio César for the game’s only goal.
“We knew it was going to be a game where probably one goal was going to settle it,” Nelsen told reporters after the match, alluding to the uneven state of BMO Field's playing surface. “Whether it was a mistake or a little lack of concentration or something, it was always going to be tight on the field like that.”
Orr agrees with his head coach, mirroring Nelsen’s assessment that it felt like a game where the first team to score would win.
“In the second half, with about 25 minutes to go, it was getting that way,” Orr said. “It wasn’t a lack of effort. We tried our very best and on the day it wasn’t meant to be and that’s how it goes sometimes.”
It was a game of two very distinct halves. The first was an evenly-contested affair with both sides enjoying spells of possession and buildup but missing that final touch. Toronto FC looked in control in the second half, though they proved unable to find the back of the net despite threatening to the very last moment, as Kyle Bekker's free kick dinged off the outside of the woodwork in injury time.
“To tell you the truth, in the second half, I thought there was only one team that was going to win that game,” Nelsen said. “The cruelty of football, isn’t it, when you hit the post and 30 seconds later they score on the other hand.”
“We did everything but it didn’t fall for us, and they just got that one chance.”