Greenville Triumph SC’s attack looked lively for the second straight week as the side defeated Toronto FC II, 3-1, Friday night at Legacy Early College.
Paul Clowes opened the scoring for the Triumph with a fantastic strike in the 18th minute. The chance came after J.J. Donnelly flicked Tyler Polak’s throw-in towards the penalty spot. Evan Lee latched on to the loose ball and held off his defender with his back to goal, laying a pass back to Clowes at the top of the 18-yard box. Clowes hit a first-time shot with power that beat goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell for his first goal of the season.
Greenville doubled its lead immediately following the halftime break, with Clowes providing the assist. The English midfielder played a first time through ball after a TFC II turnover, springing Cameron Saul free in behind the back four with a clever pass. Saul dribbled towards goal before beating Patterson-Sewell to his right to score his second goal of the season.
Toronto answered immediately from a free kick in the 48th minute. Luca Petrasso served a driven cross from near the right touchline in behind the Greenville defense towards the near post. Center back Franco Ramos-Mingo ran onto the service and connected with a strong header, beating Dallas Jaye and halving the deficit.
The Triumph regained its two-goal cushion in the 84th minute through Carlos Gomez. Substitute Omar Mohammed picked the ball up near midfield and drove down the left flank before finding Gomez with a cut back. Gomez calmly finished that the near post with a first-time shot to score his fourth goal in two games.
Friday’s victory momentarily gives third-place Greenville a four-point advantage over fourth-place Forward Madison FC ahead of the Flamingos’ match against North Texas SC on Sunday. The Triumph’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now down to four, but could drop further by the end of the weekend depending on other results, meaning Greeneville may have a chance to clinch a playoff place when it heads to Arizona on Tuesday to take on FC Tucson.
Toronto’s loss to Greenville may leave the side eliminated from playoff contention by the end of the weekend. TFC II hosts South Georgia Tormenta FC next Friday in what could be a consolation match at BMO Training Ground.