Pozuelo scores twice in 2nd half to lead Toronto FC past Chicago Fire, snapping 6-game winless streak
Two late goals by Alejandro Pozuelo gave Toronto FC a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Fire in MLS play Saturday in Toronto, snapping TFC’s six-game winless streak.
Pozuelo had missed the last three games with a lower body injury but returned with a bang in an entertaining end-to-end contest before 25,906 at BMO Field.
The winner came in the 78th minute with the Chicago defence stalled as Jayden Nelson fed Pozuelo, who curled a ball off the crossbar into the goal from the edge of the penalty box for his fourth of the season.
Chicago defender Miguel Navarro had bodied Pozuelo to the ground on the edge of the box and the review showed Pozuelo had a foot in the area. Pozuelo slotted home the spot kick in the 71st minute.
Toronto (4-7-3) had gone 0-5-1 in its previous six league outings although it posted a 2-1 road win over HFX Wanderers in Canadian Championship quarter-final play Tuesday. Its last league victory was April 16, a 2-1 decision over the visiting Philadelphia Union.
WATCH | Pozuelo rallies TFC to victory:
Chicago (2-7-5) is now winless in its last 10 (0-7-3), enduring its third double-digit winless run in a single season (both previous slides came in 2011 with 11 straight from April-June and 10 straight from June-August).
TFC is unbeaten in 14 matches (11-0-3) against the Fire dating back to September 2015. It marks the longest unbeaten run against a single opponent in Toronto’s MLS history, equalling the league regular-season record (a mark achieved four times).
Chicago’s early lead
Chicago started brightly with Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri pulling the strings in attack.
The initial word on Osorio was “lower body discomfort.” The 29-year-old midfielder, who was making his first start since April 30 due to a lower body injury, is slated to join Canada in Vancouver next week for CONCACAF Nations League games against Curacao and Honduras.
Chicago tied it up in the second half. Shaqiri looped a cross back into the box and the six-foot-two Teran outjumped the six-foot Carlos Salcedo to head the ball home.
A Chicago goal in the 55th minute was waved off after video review due to offside. Jairo Torres, a young designated player from Mexico making his first MLS start, had knocked a rebound home after a diving Quentin Westberg saved a deflected shot.
The visitors kept up the pressure as the second half wore on. And Chicago went ahead after Shaqiri sent in a cross that Gaston Gimenez headed back to Przybylko to knock home.
The teams now head into the international break. TFC has a game looming, however, with the rescheduled 2020 Canadian Championship final against Forge FC on June 4 in Hamilton.
CF Montreal bests FC Cincinnati
CF Montreal will be going into the international break on a high following a dramatic 4-3 Major League Soccer win over FC Cincinnati on Saturday night at Stade Saputo in Montreal.
Joel Waterman, Romell Quioto, and Mathieu Choiniere were Montreal’s (7-5-2) goal scorers, while Junior Moreno and Alvaro Barreal scored for Cincinnati (6-7-1).
Things would not get better for the home side as a defensive mishap from a corner left Moreno with a wide-open goal in the 12th minute.
The goal seemed to jolt both Montreal and the home crowd as they started to get their feet under them and enjoy more possession.
Less than 10 minutes after going down, Kamal Miller missed a header as the ball fell to an open Waterman who was there to clean it up, much like Cincinnati’s opening goal.
21′ Deuxième but cette saison pour <a href=”https://twitter.com/16Waterman?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@16Waterman</a>!<br><br>Waterman opens the scoring for us 👊👊👊<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/CINvMTL?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#CINvMTL</a> | 1-1 | <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/CFMTL?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#CFMTL</a> <a href=”https://t.co/lc7oebRizj”>pic.twitter.com/lc7oebRizj</a>
With the momentum on their side, Montreal continued to push for a go-ahead goal. That came in added time at the end of the first half as Quioto powered his way through two defenders and the goalkeeper to score his first goal in more than a month.
Montreal started the second half with the same vigour they ended the first, needing less than 30 seconds to double their advantage. A cheeky flick by Kei set up Choiniere for his first of the season, sending Stade Saputo into raptures.
46′ Lassi + Kei + Mathieu!<br><br>TOP CORNER CHOINIÈRE 🎯<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/MTLvCIN?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#MTLvCIN</a> | 3-1 | <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/CFMTL?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#CFMTL</a> <a href=”https://t.co/sL8RAzkk5r”>pic.twitter.com/sL8RAzkk5r</a>
However, Cincinnati showed why they have one of the best road records in MLS, pulling one back immediately. Luciano Acosta spotted Barreal unmarked in the box, smashing it home only six minutes later.
Only four minutes after that, Cincinnati continued to fight back when a beautiful shot from Moreno sealed his brace and cut the lead down to one again.
Montreal proceeded to shut the door for the remainder of the game, sealing the win and third place in the Eastern Conference.
Both teams will return to action on June 18 following the international break. Montreal will host Austin FC while Cincinnati will head to Subaru Park to take on the Philadelphia Union.
Whitecaps take shutout win over Sporting KC
Cody Cropper delivered a one-save shutout while Lucas Cavallini scored a pivotal goal in the Vancouver Whitecaps’ 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday in Kansas City, Kan.
Sporting KC (3-8-4) outshot the Whitecaps 10-6, with one shot on goal to two for the Whitecaps.
Cropper saved the one shot he faced for the Whitecaps. Tim Melia saved one of the two shots he faced for Sporting KC.
I meaaaaaan 👏👏👏 <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/VWFC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#VWFC</a> | <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SKCvVAN?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SKCvVAN</a> <a href=”https://t.co/GnvZyaOftd”>https://t.co/GnvZyaOftd</a> <a href=”https://t.co/yyBXT8ztVl”>pic.twitter.com/yyBXT8ztVl</a>