Toronto FC suffered a closely fought 3-2 loss to FC Cincinnati at BMO Field on Saturday night.
The first goal-scoring opportunity of the game presented itself to TFC when winger Latif Blessing connected with Federico Bernardeschi’s back-post cross, producing an acrobatic scissor kick that rattled off the FC Cincinnati crossbar ten minutes into the game. The Reds nearly opened the scoring once again when Bernardeschi’s left-footed shot attempt from the right-hand side of the box forced a great save by FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano in the 21st minute.
Hamilton-born TFC goalkeeper Luka Gavran was called into action in the 27th minute of the game and produced a terrific save, denying FC Cincinnati wing-back Santiago Arias’s shot from point-blank range. Unfortunately for TFC, FC Cincinnati striker Brandon Vazquez would go on to score two quick close-range goals in the 28th and 35th minutes of the game, respectively.
The Reds would bounce back in a major way thanks to vice-captain Jonathan Osorio. In the 39th minute, Osorio instinctively pounced on the rebound effort from Bernardeschi’s initial shot on target and buried the ball in the back of the net to reduce Cincinnati’s lead to just one. Five minutes later, Osorio connected with Bernardeschi’s cross and thumped home the headed effort to tie up the game.
The brace from Osorio brought TFC back into the game, but goalkeeper Luka Gavran ensured that the Reds would keep the game level going into the break. Gavran produced a world-class save in stoppage time to deny a driven attempt from FC Cincinnati wing-back Santiago Arias in the bottom right corner of the TFC goal.
Both teams committed bodies forward in search of the breakthrough goal after the break. Goalkeeper Luka Gavran continued to stand tall between the sticks for TFC as he produced a double save in the 50th minute, before denying FC Cincinnati striker Brandon Vazquez his hat-trick opportunity on a breakaway in the 64th minute.
Unfortunately for the Reds, FC Cincinnati would go on to secure the lead in the 74th minute, courtesy of striker Aaron Boupendza’s scrappy finish inside the box. This turned out to be the final scoring moment of the game, but it wasn't for a lack of effort from the home side. The Reds pushed on deep into stoppage time but weren’t able to secure a late equalizer.
The Reds return to action on Wednesday, October 4th at Bank of America Stadium vs. Charlotte FC.