The away side opened the scoring after mere minutes through Yeferson Soteldo, who pounced on a turnover to put his team in front. Even though the Fire were in control for most of the contest, Toronto scored next, as Nick DeLeon buried a chance from close range in the 76th minute. A goal from Álvaro Medrán gave the hosts life, but it ultimately did not matter as the Canadian outfit held on to secure the win and all three points.
Story of the match
Toronto would take a shock early lead, as they scored the opener less than two minutes into the start of the contest. They won the ball high up the pitch, and Yeferson Soteldo was eventually played through on goal. He then made no mistake with the finish, poking the ball past the goalkeeper and into the side netting.
It was nearly 1-1 in the 10th minute. A woeful clearance meant the ball fell to the feet of Ignacio Aliseda in the penalty area, but he couldn’t make the most of the error as his shot was saved by Alex Bono.
Some lovely work created space for Boris Sekulić out on the wing, and he went for a clever near-post finish, but Bono was able to get a foot out to block the attempt.
Chicago pretty much dominated the remainder of the first half, carving out a number of chances for themselves in the process, but they just couldn’t convert any of them. As a result, they went into the break still down 1-0.
They were left to rue all of those missed opportunities as Toronto doubled their advantage in the 75th minute. Nick DeLeon was wide open on the wing, and he capitalized on the space given to him, settling a pass before burying a shot into the back of the net.
In a remarkable turn of events, the Fire somehow pulled one back almost seconds after conceding. A loose ball in the area fell kindly to Álvaro Medrán a few yards out from goal, and he managed to turn and rifle home past several bodies to give his side hope.
They pushed forward in search of a late equalizer, but they were unable to find it as Toronto held on to seal the victory.
Chicago’s recent run of results isn’t Frank Klopas’ fault, of course, but fans do have reason to wonder what could have happened differently if Raphaël Wicky was on the sidelines instead.
The Fire might be the worst team on the planet when it comes to finishing chances. They do a good job of creating them, to be fair, but things change when it comes to converting them. It’s hard to explain exactly why they are the way they are, but what is clear is that their woeful shooting has cost them once again.
Both goalkeepers deserve better. Alex Bono stood on his head throughout the contest, and he couldn’t even keep a clean sheet due to his teammates inability to defend. Bobby Shuttleworth, meanwhile, had less to do, but he mostly stepped up when called upon. There wasn’t much he could have done about either of the goals he conceded, but he still gave up two nonetheless.
Toronto nearly bottled the result due to their woeful defending, as they simply decided to shoot themselves in the foot multiple times after going up 2-0. Bono and the Fire’s refusal to take their chances were the only reasons why they didn’t concede three or more.
Chicago should think about just wearing their white away kit at Soldier Field in the future.
Man of the match - Alex Bono
I’ve already said what needs to be said about Alex Bono.
He kept his side in the game, making save after save after save. It was an absolutely stellar performance from him, and even though his hard work didn’t lead to a clean sheet, it did help Toronto pick up a potentially big win.
If Bono can keep playing like this, then there’s a chance the Canadian outfit could sneak back into the playoff picture.