Most notably, in the 66th minute, TFC thought they snagged a go-ahead goal when Jayden Nelson jumped on a rebound and powered it into the back of the net.
However, referee Victor Rivas blew the play down for a foul, deeming that Whitecaps’ goalkeeper Thomas Hasal had possession.
Toronto FC head coach Bob Bradley was not impressed with the decision.
“It’s a mistake,” said Bradley in his post-game press conference. “And obviously, we have [Video Review] and that’s on the [Video Review] to see it. It’s clear. Everyone that has seen it realizes that Hasal never had control.
“It’s too bad that I think they say that he might’ve broken or dislocated his finger, that’s too bad. But I don’t know exactly, that might have been on the shot as the ball came loose. So, he never had control, it’s a good goal and the system fails. … You can have a system, but if the person responsible in that moment can’t see that, then the system doesn’t work. So we’ll see what PRO (Professional Referee Organization) has to say about it. But for me, it’s a clear mistake.”
It’s been a difficult stretch for Toronto FC. The club entered Sunday’s game – their third in eight days – against the Whitecaps riding a three-game losing streak and missing eight first-team regulars, including center back Carlos Salcedo and midfielder Jonathan Osorio.
Shorthanded, it was always going to be difficult to come away with three points, especially playing away from home, but TFC felt they played well enough to win and were ultimately hard done. The icing on the cake, of course, was Tosaint Ricketts’ 90th-minute winner for the Whitecaps.
“I feel bad for the group,” said Bradley. “We go through a stretch where we’re trying really hard to just keep everybody going forward. A lot of guys put in big efforts out there today. And then to come away with nothing, and then with some of the different calls, yeah, I feel bad for these guys. A reminder that sometimes it’s unfair and we’ve got to keep a positive way.
“We’ve got to keep fighting together. I really want to make sure that they keep coming in and helping their teammates every day and realize that ‘look, if we stick together and do the right things, we’ll get through it.’ But I’m really disappointed for the players today.”
Toronto will hope to get bodies back and rebound against Orlando City SC Saturday afternoon at BMO Field (3 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, TSN4 in Canada).