Vancouver Whitecaps 1, Toronto FC 3 | MLS Match Recap
VANCOUVER, B.C. – It was a tale of dominant Designated Players at BC Place on Saturday afternoon as Toronto FC downed their Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 in an entertaining encounter.
It was the third time that the Canadian rivals have met on the opening day of the season, but the first time that TFC came away with the upper hand, fighting back after going behind to an Octavio Rivero goal thanks to a brace from Jozy Altidore and a go-ahead strike from Robbie Findley.
Rivero has been brought in to boost Vancouver's goalscoring and the Uruguayan had a chance to become an instant hero just eight minutes into his MLS debut when he found himself in front of an open goal, four yards out, but somehow failed to put away Russell Teibert's low cross.
Toronto's Sebastian Giovinco showed some nice footwork before drilling a shot inches past the right post. But Vancouver responded immediately.
If Rivero's earlier miss was playing on his mind, he didn't show it, as he latched onto a perfectly-weighted through ball from Pa Modou Kah, took a couple of touches and finished with aplomb for the 19th-minute opener.
Toronto were coming under increasing pressure, but shocked their hosts in the 32nd minute as Altidore was played in by a deft Giovinco ball, rounded 'Caps goalkeeper David Ousted and fired home the equalizer.
Vancouver had numerous chances to go in at the half with the lead. Kekuta Manneh, who had been electrifying all half, had the best of them six minutes before the break, going on a great solo run, only to be denied by the legs of Joe Bendik.
The pace dipped at the start of the second half and it was the visitors who took the lead a minute before the hour mark.
Justin Morrow was allowed space on the left to send a perfect low ball across goal for an unmarked Findley to blast into the roof of the net.
The Whitecaps were looking like a different team from the offensive juggernaut on display in the first half, and failed to create any chances of note as they desperately looked for a way back into the match.
Toronto were controlling the game to perfection and added a killer third in the last minute of regulation when Kah brought down Altidore in the box. The Toronto DP stepped up to cheekily chip home the spot kick and secure his side a 3-1 victory.
Vancouver will now regroup and hope to open their account for the season when they head east to take on Chicago next Saturday. Toronto look to build on their victory when they face off with Eastern Conference rivals Columbus Crew SC in a week's time in a Trillium Cup clash, the second of TFC's seven straight road games to kick off their season.