Orlando City SC 1, Toronto FC 2 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
Jozy Altidore came off the bench to score the winner and propel Toronto FC into first place in the Eastern Conference Wednesday night, via a 2-1 victory over host Orlando City SC in Camping World Stadium. With the three points earned from the victory, TFC now have 43 points, two more than New York City FC.
With the big rivalry match against the Montreal Impact coming up on Saturday, Toronto coach Greg Vanney made five changes to his lineup from Saturday's 3-1 victory over Philadelphia, leaving out the red-hot Altidore, presumably to spare him from playing on Camping World Stadium's artificial surface. In Altidore's place, Vanney inserted Tosaint Ricketts, and Ricketts made the coach look smart when he ran onto a quick throw-in by Sebastian Giovinco and slotted it past Orlando goalkeeper Joe Bendik to give TFC the lead in the seventh minute.
Orlando, whose 13 draws this season are more than anyone else in the league, would equalize in the 56th minute on a header by Cyle Larin that kissed off the right goalpost and bounced in. Larin was set up by a cross from the left corner by Luke Boden.
But Altidore, who came on as a sub in the 58th minute, delivered the winner for TFC when he ran on to a ball from Giovinco, cut past Bendik, and knocked the ball into the vacant net in the 86th minute. For Altidore, it was the fourth consecutive game in which he has scored a goal.
- 7' – TOR – Tosaint Ricketts (Sebastian Giovinco)
- 56' – ORL – Cyle Larin (Luke Boden)
- 86' – TOR – Jozy Altidore (Sebastian Giovinco)
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- THIS RED IS RED-HOT: Jozy Altidore has now scored in four straight games and in five of the last six. And he hasn't played 90 minutes in any of those. Altidore, who missed two months with a hamstring injury, has been slowly working his way back to fitness since returning to action July 23. He's played seven games since then, starting just two, and scored five goals – three of them coming off the bench.
- FOR HIM, THE SEQUEL WAS BETTER: Toronto keeper Alex Bono likely enjoyed this game much more than he did the last time TFC visited Central Florida. On June 25, Bono made his MLS debut for TFC, coming on as a sub in the 70th minute after starting keeper Clint Irwin injured his quadriceps muscle on a goal kick. Bono allowed two goals in 20 minutes, including a 108th minute penalty by Kaka, in a 3-2 loss. Since then, Bono has started 11 straight games, allowing nine goals and posting three clean sheets. He made four saves tonight to improve Toronto's record to 7-1-3 in his 11 starts. But Irwin is healthy, so Bono may be heading back to the bench, perhaps as soon as Saturday when the Reds visit Montreal.
- LETTING THEM PLAY: In the 34th minute, Toronto's Michael Bradley ran into Matias Perez Garcia, knocking him over. It seemed a cynical challenge that might have earned Bradley a yellow card, but referee Chris Penso decided a common foul was all it was. Three minutes later, Perez Garcia charged into Bradley from behind, knocking him over. That, too, could have been worth a yellow, but Penso didn't go to his pocket there, either. Hey, at least he called it both ways.