Toronto FC was denied a celebration last December, but the BMO Field crowd was treated to a trophy on Saturday evening.
A Justin Morrow hat-trick sealed the Supporters’ Shield for Toronto FC, who topped the New York Red Bulls, 4-2, in Toronto. The win locks up the regular season championship for TFC with two matches to spare.
Toronto FC scored two goals in quick succession in the first half with both coming from the foot of Morrow. The first came in the 32nd minute as Morrow pounced on a loose ball in the box following an apparent handball from Tosaint Ricketts. Following a review from Alan Chapman, the goal was deemed good, giving TFC a 1-0 lead.
That lead became 2-0 five minutes later via another Morrow goal. Michael Bradley’s initial shot was blocked by a wall of Red Bull defenders as the ball fell right to a waiting Morrow. What was left was a simple finish, giving TFC a multi-goal advantage.
It took just two minutes for the Red Bulls to pull one back as Gonzalo Veron fired the scoreline to 2-1 by finishing off an assist from Tyler Adams.
Adams was once again involved on the equalizing goal as the young midfielder slid a pass to Veron in the 76th minute. Veron was dragged down by Drew Moor, earning a penalty kick which was tapped home by Daniel Royer to tie the score at two apiece.
Moments later, another penalty kick was called as Altidore was dragged down by Aaron Long. Victor Vasquez stepped up and buried the finish, sealing the win. Another from Morrow just a few minutes later was icing on the cake, sealing the 4-2 win.
With the Supporters’ Shield locked up, TFC looks ahead to matches against the Montreal Impact and Atlanta United to close out the season. The Red Bulls, meanwhile, remain in the thick of the Eastern Conference race ahead of an October 7 match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Justin Morrow stepped up with two big early goals and a late game-sealer, helping TFC lock up a Supporters’ Shield.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
With just over 10 minutes left, Aaron Long dragged down Jozy Altidore, opening the door for Victor Vasquez’s game-winning penalty kick.
MATCH TO FORGET
The Red Bulls defense had another tough night, and it’s Long that will be most disappointed after being called for a late penalty.