After a 90-minute shift on the sideline where his comments were frequently picked up on the MLS Friday Night on TSN broadcast, Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney admitted "I’m exhausted tonight, and it wasn’t because of my team either."
"The first call was disgraceful, that changes the game because we had control of the momentum," he said to reporters after the game, referring to a penalty called by referee Fotis Bazakos following a Video Review for a push by Drew Moor on Gerso Fernandes.
“The [VAR] sent me a video angle from right along the 18 [yard box] and that angle showed that the contact was right on the line so that makes it a penalty kick,” Bazakos explained to Sportsnet's John Molinaro after the game.
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"No, it’s not a foul," Vanney contended. "There’s a lot of hands of people’s chests, his momentum is already going and he’s falling off balance. It’s normal, he’s not going to get back to the ball, and he tumbles over, it happens all over the game, all over the place. I do think that if [the referee] thinks it’s in the box, has any idea it’s in the box, he doesn’t even come close to calling it. He lets it go, it was that soft.
"How many times this season have you seen our guys get into positions in the penalty box, hands on people’s backs, Jozy [Altidore]’s back, and if that’s the standard then we should have at least 3 PK’s this year and I’m sure there would be many more across the league," he continued. "My frustration with it is once you set the standard like that then you have to hold that standard for the rest of the game, and that was not at all the case."
In fact, both of Sporting's goals came from penalties, and Moor admitted the turns the game took, with Sporting going ahead twice before Toronto battled back to tie, got to the home side, as their winless run extends to seven games.
"Obviously, I voiced my frustration several times, but you know we kind of have to get on with things as best we can and not let it become a distraction," Moor explained. "We did a little bit tonight at times, but I think the character and the courage we showed was to come back twice with two equalizers is the most important thing to take from tonight."
Aside from Hamilton's late equalizer, another highlight from the night from a Toronto perspective was the return of Ryan Telfer, recalled from his loan at Canadian Premier League side York9 this week with TFC in need of players. Telfer set up the tying goal, and the 25-year-old was pleased to contribute right away upon his return.
"It’s been a rollercoaster ride to be honest," Telfer said. "Just getting the notice yesterday that someone was hurt, and they needed assistance. You know this is my club so I would take that opportunity any day. Just for the circumstances for going in for the last 10 minutes and get the equalizing goal, I’m just happy to help the club out."