Tuesday’s match may have been short on goals, but the 0-0 tie assures Toronto FC a spot in the knockout stage of the MLS is Back tournament.
While it won’t go down as the most entertaining match of this MLS is Back Tournament, Toronto FC enjoyed a productive day in Orlando, splitting the points with New England Revolution and booking their ticket to the next round. Here are three takeaways from TFC’s final group stage contest, which ended in a 0-0 draw:
1. Desire be, desire go
As we’ve come to expect over the course of the MLS is Back Tournament, the Reds came out on the front foot. Aggressive runs from tournament darling Ayo Akinola and newcomer Pablo Piatti saw TFC run amock in New England’s end during the first 45 minutes, out-shooting the Revs six to one.
As the match wore on, however, the Revolution, well, revolted. They dominated the early stages of the second half, peppering Alex Bono’s goal in search of a winner.
Both sides brought on additional striking power in the latter stages of the match. New England introducing Gustavo Bou and Cristian Penilla with 30 minutes to go, and the Reds giving Jozy Altidore his first action of the tournament with just under five minutes remaining.
Unfortunately for impartial viewers, neither move payed dividends. Diligent defending and excellence in both teams’ creases held all strikers involved off the scoresheet.
Though this match didn’t light up the scoreboard, it will forever be remembered by at least one man. Noble Okello made his Toronto FC debut on the day, logging 22 minutes in relief of Marky Delgado.