The Video Room: Near Misses Cost Reds in New England

It wasn’t Toronto FC’s night in Foxborough on Saturday night, as a series of near-misses defined the 3-0 result.

The unbeaten streak came to an end at eight, but the Reds still created some good looks on the night, yet lacked the sharpness (and a bit of luck) in the final third.

Let’s take a look back at two key moves that came off against the Columbus Crew just a week earlier, but didn’t materialize in the loss to the New England Revolution.

The Situation

In a 5-0 win over Columbus, the attack was firing on all cylinders as the Reds were clinical in front of goal. But on the road at Gillette Stadium, Toronto would live to lament a few key passages of play that so nearly came off, but didn’t.

The Play(s)

Let’s compare two strikingly similar chances from both matches, starting with the service of Raheem Edwards.

In New England, the Toronto native found himself along the right wing after starting the match alongside Sebastian Giovinco in the attack. Edwards cut towards the area before swinging in a trademark cross to the back post. Victor Vazquez makes a great run as Edwards delivers a quality ball, but the Spaniard’s header goes high and out for a goal kick.

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Rewind to last week’s Trillium Cup triumph and you’ll see a remarkably similar play. Once again, Edwards collects the ball just outside the box, wide right. In nearly the same fashion, the ball is swung in, with Jordan Hamilton the one making the far post run this time. And whereas Vazquez saw his chance sail high, Hamilton made no mistake to seal off a signature win.

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Flip back to New England and another close call for the Reds.

Left back Justin Morrow had a great chance to put his team on the board after finding himself 1v1 with the keeper, but his shot ultimately caroms off the post and out.

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A week prior, Morrow had a comparable look.

Once more, Morrow is released down the left wing and into the area. Against the Crew, Morrow elected to go for power over placement to cap off the move. The end result? A powerful strike for the 2-0 lead.

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What They Said

Greg Vanney: “You know when the ball bounces twice off the crossbar and they head it in, when we miss some close chances, hit the bar a couple times, sometimes it’s just not your night. And sometimes the team is a little disjointed because of various reasons like fatigue, so it happens. To me, it’s things we can sort out on the training field and we just tighten up. It's not things that have been hurting us over the course of the year.”