Despite numerous injuries that have plagued Toronto FC throughout 2016, Greg Vanney’s side managed a complete performance against the last-place Chicago Fire on Saturday night at BMO Field.
TFC broke the deadlock after nine minutes when Justin Morrow scored his second goal of the season, giving the home side a 1-0 win over the Fire. The defender slotted home past goalkeeper Sean Johnson after Sebastian Giovinco played a through ball into the path of the 28-year-old.
The Italian attacker proved to be the critical attacking figure for Toronto throughout the night, taking a team-leading 12 shots and creating Morrow’s opener. Giovinco’s best chance of the night came in the 70th minute when his free kick struck the post.
Tsubasa Endoh nearly doubled the TFC lead in the 41st minute, after Steven Beitashour’s cross wasn’t dealt with by the Fire backline. Johnson lunged off his line to punch the ball away, but it fell to Endoh at the top of the box, whose strong effort was cleared off the line.
The home side continued to play well without several key starters, as U.S. internationals Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore remain sidelined with injuries. Additionally, goalkeeper Clint Irwin and midfielder Will Johnson were among the others that Vanney’s squad was forced to play without in the win.
TFC will be back in action on Wednesday when Giovinco and co. travel to Columbus Crew SC, while the Fire are set to meet Sporting KC later that night.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Despite not finding the back of the net, Sebastian Giovinco found his seventh assist of the season on Justin Morrow’s finish.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
In a match that didn’t see a lot of chances, Justin Morrow’s ninth-minute goal proved to be the difference between the two sides.
MATCH TO FORGET
The Fire attack managed just two shots on target against TFC, as Veljko Paunovic and co. suffered their eighth loss of the season.