Toronto FC conceded a first-half Ronald Matarrita goal and then did something they haven't done all season – win after giving up the opening goal – roaring back for a 3-2 win over FC Cincinnati at BMO Field on Wednesday evening.
In a battle between clubs at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, Jacob Shaffelburg led the charge with a goal and two assists, spoiling the first match for interim head coach Tyrone Marshall following Jaap Stam's dismissal Monday.
Both sides missed at least one notable golden opportunity to score early. Jonathan Osorio missed a brilliant chance for TFC in the 13th minute, with Michael Bradley picking out Omar Gonzalez making a run to one post, who then crossed a would-be assist toward Osorio at the other post. The Canadian international flubbed what should have been a tap-in finish, though. Two minutes later, FCC striker Brenner caught Alex Bono drifting outside the goalmouth but steered his attempt wide.
FC Cincinnati went ahead in the 38th minute, countering on a turnover near midfield, with Luciano Acosta finding an open Matarrita on the left flank. The Costa Rican international had the time and composure to finish, putting the visitors up against the run of play.
Just over two minutes into the second half, TFC executed an endline-to-endline play to level the match. Gonzalez sprung a counter that ended with Yeferson Soteldo playing Shaffelburg toward goal for a textbook finish past Przemyslaw Tyton.
Shaffelburg then added an assist in the 55th minute, played in on the left flank by Richie Laryea and finding Marco Delgado open on the far post for TFC to grab the lead. He got another eight minutes later, opting for a similar ball from the left flank and finding Ifunanyachi Achara directly in front of goal to add to Cincinnati's woes. He nearly managed a third assist, sending a sumptuous chip to Soteldo’s head that ultimately couldn’t elude Tyton.
Acosta pulled one back in the 72nd minute, beating Bono from distance to give the visitors hope, but Cincy couldn't find enough "new coach bounce" energy to net an equalizer. That ensured Toronto reached three games unbeaten in a contest that could, in hindsight, decide the 2021 Wooden Spoon.