TORONTO – A win is a win, three points is three points, but Toronto FC were left wanting more on Saturday night despite beating the Chicago Fire 1-0 at BMO Field.
“A nice solid performance,” said Greg Vanney of the result. “Would have liked to score another goal, but we defended well, created chances, did a good job of moving the ball, managing their counterattacks. Overall, I was pleased.”
Justin Morrow, who scored the game's only goal in the ninth minute – his second of the season – had a “great day,” according to Vanney.
“He was aggressive in attack; that diagonal run behind the backline to get slipped in is something that we've been working on. It's a great run.”
Vanney was particularly pleased with a February prognostication coming to the fore.
“I said in preseason we've got to be comfortable winning games 1-0 this year,” he said. “That's what the playoffs look like. You've got to be able to get your goal and be able defend.”
Alex Bono, starting a second consecutive match in goal in place of the injured Clint Irwin, made two saves to keep the first clean sheet of his MLS career. And TFC extended their unbeaten home run to five matches – all crucial facts.
But one thing somewhat overshadowed the good vibes: Sebastian Giovinco's goal drought.
“As a striker, it's something important … that I have to do,” said Giovinco. “There are times that I've succeeded and there's some where I blew it.”
Asked why he has gone seven league matches without finding the back of the net, Giovinco replied honestly: “I don't know.“
With a colossal 13 shots, many of which were blocked, one that hit the outside of the post, and another that took a deflection, only for Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson to get a vital touch, the 2016 MLS All-Star Fan XI selection was visibly frustrated, ripping his shirt in emphasis at another effort just off the mark in the 76th minute.
“Just keep trying,” was his refrain in the locker room.
“It's not from a lack of opportunities, or looks,” said Vanney, praising the work Giovinco did off the ball and in the build-up.
“It's about calibrating the spots he wants to hit. We know it will come because we've seen it before. We know what he's capable of … it's just a little bit off right now. He'll find his way.”