TORONTO – It was not a loss, but it felt like one for Toronto FC after they drew 1-1 with the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
Philadelphia’s equalizer came in the 85th minute, the 12th goal Toronto FC have conceded in the final 15 minutes of a league game this season.
“It feels like a loss, giving up one in the last five minutes like that again,” defender Jeremy Hall said.
“It’s the same old story,” midfielder Terry Dunfield added. “In the last 10 minutes, you could feel the nervousness on the field and in the end Philadelphia got a goal.”
The Reds have allowed 51 goals this season, most in MLS, and 19 of them have been in the final 30 minutes of league games.
Goalkeeper Milos Kocic did not know the numbers off the top of his head, but he said late goals have happened “enough to not make the playoffs.”
“It’s frustrating,” Hall said. “But you can say you have to be concentrated, you have to clear the ball, do this and that, but you just have to start to do it on the field. It sounds like a broken record, the same things over and over. We’re just going to have to do it.
“I don’t know what it is, if guys are going to have a go at each other or what not, it just has to be better. I thought we had good control of the game.”
The feeling of frustration was palpable in the dressing room at BMO Field after the team appeared to have their first league win since July 18 in their grasp only for yet another late goal to spoil things.
“It’s so frustrating,” Dunfield said. “It’s almost like as soon as the clock hits 80 minutes there’s tentativeness among the players. Naturally, you start to sag back, but there are going to be times in games when you do need to defend.
“And Milos did well. He came for a couple of crosses when he needed to, but I don’t think Philadelphia all game really hurt us. The one time they got behind us they made it count.”
“We have to be stronger than the opponents in the last 20 minutes,” Kocic said. “Every team that comes to play us knows they can be patient and they don’t have to score a goal right away.
“It’s 100 percent a psychological problem, we have the ability to win the games. It’s a problem that we have to deal with.”