TORONTO – Another home match, another disappointing result.
With the defeat, TFC's home record, once a firm point of pride, has dropped below .500 (3-4-2) and the distance between them and the sixth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference widens to eight points.
“Disappointing result,” said head coach Greg Vanney post-match. “They had two shots on goal; the one that goes in should never go in. We need something to build on … that didn't help.”
“You could tell with a soft goal and chance missed after chance missed, you start to feel the result again is coming,” he continued. “There are positives our there, but right now we've got to turn the positives into a result, so that as a group we feel the building blocks going into place.”
TFC goalkeeper Alex Bono was beat in the 4th minute when a skipping shot from Kemar Lawrence on the half-volley found its way through a crowd after a partially-cleared corner kick fell to him at the top of the box.
“It's poor on my part,” apologized Bono in the dressing room. “I put my hand up for that one; take it on the chin. We don't make excuses, I don't make excuses. That one is on me.”
Compounding matters, Sebastian Giovinco was denied from the penalty spot in the 78th minute by Luis Robles. Giovinco has converted just one of four penalties in league play this season and just three of his last eight in all competitions.
Vanney stuck, more or less, to his framework that “whoever steps up with the confidence to hit the back of the net” is his penalty taker, but admitted that approach may be revisited.
“Maybe it's something we'll talk about more,” he said. “Seba hit it hard, into a reasonable spot. The ‘keeper just anticipated where Seba typically goes and went for it.”
For his part, Robles refused to say that any of the fear factor of facing off against Giovinco has diminished.
“Giovinco is Giovinco,” said RBNY’s veteran goalkeeper. “You can say whatever you want, maybe it hasn't gone his way, but look what he's done since he's been here.
Adding more woe to TFC’s tale, Jason Hernandez was forced off before halftime with an apparent hamstring concern, Vanney would only say that the defender’s situation “doesn't look good.” Playmaker Victor Vazquez was unavailable on Sunday due to “swelling in knee” preventing his full range of motion.
Though he lamented his team’s shortage of “momentum” and “belief,” the TFC boss remained steadfast in his process, and his players agreed.
“People want to bury us,” said Justin Morrow. “But we don't feel that way in this locker room.
“A lot of games coming up,” observed the fullback. “A good chance for us to get on a run.”