With World Cup qualifiers looming, Jozy Altidore stepped up in a big way to lead Toronto FC to a win over a Canadian rival.
The U.S. Men’s National Team striker fired a goal and provided an assist, leading TFC to a 2-0 win over the 10-man Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place. The win is Toronto FC’s first of the year following two straight draws.
Playing without star Sebastian Giovinco due to injury, TFC was held somewhat quiet through a majority of the match before a dismissal turned the tide. After earning a yellow card for a foul on Nick Hagglund, Whitecaps winger Brek Shea was booked again seconds later for dissent, leaving the Whitecaps down a man.
The dismissal opened the door for TFC, and Altidore helped power it open with an assist as he found Victor Vasquez for a 76th-minute finish. The USMNT forward’s header across the box was placed right into the path of the Spanish midfielder, who was left with a simple header of his own to make the score 1-0.
Moments later, Altidore scored a goal of his own, firing past David Ousted following a majestic turn to find space in the box. The goal is Altidore’s second goal of the young season following a finish in TFC’s previous match, a 2-2 draw with the Philadelphia Union.
Altidore and Michael Bradley are now set to join the USMNT for World Cup qualifiers ahead of TFC’s March 31 match against Sporting KC. The Whitecaps, meanwhile, return to action on April 1 against the LA Galaxy.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jozy Altidore stepped up late to provide an goal and an assist, helping push TFC to victory while developing a bit of momentum before joining the USMNT.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Through 70 minute, the Whitecaps were certainly in the match, but Brek Shea’s dismissal kickstarted the team’s downfall. The hosts could never recover, as TFC punched in two goals in the final 20 minutes to seal victory.
MATCH TO FORGET
After losing the ball, Brek Shea simply lost his head as he chopped down Nick Hagglund on the sideline. His verbal response to referee Ismail Elfath was enough to draw another card, costing the Whitecaps a man and, ultimately, the game.