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Thursday, August 18, 2011

AFTER 90: Reds survive CONCACAF's finest

Just imagine it constantly going up and down

Sing with us... "The Chaaaaaaamp-pions!" While hardly the stuff of Internazionale visiting Barcelona at the Nou Camp, tonight marks the start of Toronto FC's journey through this region's premier club tournament. It's a trip as far south as possible without being in the Copa Libertadores as The Reds visit CONCACAF's other TFC - Tauro FC of Panama City. Dodgy pitches, unique supporters and exceptionally shaky officiating is at the ready as Aron Winter attempts to guide his Torontotal Football through Group C. It seems as if local legend David Lee Roth is ready to sing the national anthem so we head to the stadium that celebrates tank commanders and 80's shortstops - Estadio Rommel Fernandez.
1' - After an ugly incident with Sammy Hagar the match is set to begin in front of dozens of Panamanians. Not enough "mania" for my liking. Kick-off...
7' - Joao Plata with the first chance of the night as he steps around Tauro's keeper but the wee Ecuadorian's shot was sharp angled and hits the side netting
10' - TFC Eh causing problems in TFC Ole box as Danny Koevermans nearly connects with a ball skipped in front of goal
15' - After their last experience in Central America, TFC must be pleased that the grass isn't knee-high
20' - YELLOW CARD: Who else would invite the wrath of CONCACAF referees? Andy Iro for just being Andy
21' - GOAL: Ryan Johnson picks up on some sloppy Tauro defending deep in their own area and smoothly slots it past the TFC Ole keeper
23' - GOAL: Julian de Guzman has become "de Bomber" with his second recent long range blast. This one bounces past a hapless Tauro keeper while players look around confused at a whistle that emanated from the crowd
31' - YELLOW CARD: Richard Eckersley letting his Salford show. Rash tackles will never go unnoticed in CONCACAF
33' - Tauro putting on all the pressure in the last five minutes forcing Milos Kocic to be on his toes
37' - SUB: Debut time as Dasan Robinson comes on for the red card destined Andy Iro
38' - Kocic gets caught on a Tauro volley but is headed off the line by "The Ginger Avenger" Richard Eckersley
45'+ - YELLOW CARD: Cuban ref thinks that handing out yellows to Toronto is "sticking it to capitalism". Matt Stinson's turn for a "CONCACARD". Halftime
45' - SUB: Aron Winter puts Ashtone Morgan in to start the 2nd Half in place of fellow academy product Matt Stinson
50' - The Reds must have spent the halftime break watching a documentary about the Panama Canal because they haven't come out ready to play football
53' - Tauro's dominance leading to open headers in front of Kocic. TFC Eh are lucky TFC Ole doesn't have the chops to finish
58' - SUB: Mikael Yourassowsky makes a rare appearance as Koevermans ends a quiet night with a stretcher ride off the pitch. Didn't look too serious however
60' - 15 whole minutes without Toronto getting a "CONCACARD"!
64' - Tauro FC have decided to field the Panama Men's Olympic Diving team in the 2nd Half
71' - Another mystery foul gives Tauro a free kick that forces Kocic to smother it on the ground
73' - PENALTY: Julian de Guzman with one of the few fouls that was legitimate. Sadly it was in the TFC 6-yard box. PK taken by Tauro captain Lucho Moreno and GOAL
79' - Toronto leading Tauro in fouls given 194 - 2
81' - Traffic in Panama Canal grinds to a halt in shock as a Tauro player gets a yellow card!
84' - Tauro could easily have tied the match as shot whistles past Kocic's goalpost
88' - Kocic bowled over by Tauro (no call - shock) - Morgan clears ball off goal line. Close
90' - YELLOW CARD: Shock. de Guzman for nothing. Just stupid.
90'+ - Reds truly lucky that Tauro can't finish from open play as ref blows to end match. manages to do so without giving out a card
Most of us are used to the nuttiness that goes along with playing in CONCACAF but tonight's "officiating display by Cuban Marco Brea became comical. When the match ended, Toronto "out-fouled" Tauro by a whopping 30-11. When stupidity like this takes place, good football will never be the result and tonight's match won't be one for the CONCACAF highlight DVD. That being said, The Reds 2nd Half performance did them no favours as the team was flat, disorganized and withering. As mentioned before, if Tauro FC had any actual finishing prowess from open play, this match would have had a different result. In the end, 3 points away in Central America are valuable but TFC Eh will have to be much sharper in future CCL fixtures. Terrible refs or not.
PLAYER RATINGS: Milos Kocic 6.5 / Richard Eckersley 6.5 / Ty Harden 6 / Andy Iro 6 (Dasan Robinson 6 ) / Danleigh Borman 6 / Julian de Guzman 6.5 / Matt Stinson 6 (Ashtone Morgan 6.5 ) / Ryan Johnson 6.5 / Peri Marosevic 6.5 / Danny Koevermans 5.5 (Mikael Yourassowsky 5.5 ) / Joao Plata 6.5
TALKING POINT: CONCACAF referees may give you a yellow card for reading this. Discuss.

1 comment:

  1. Iro gets a 6?!?!? Harden looked like Franco Baresi out there compared to him and he gets a 6? Dusan Robinson did a good job coming in but also gets the same 6. Iro was awful except when a ball was played right to him in the air for him to head clear: in every other department he was brutal. How about a 2.5 or 3?

    Most of these guys need kudos for not getting sent off, especially Eckersley. But it was a poor display of technical skill by TFC for the rest of the match after the second goal: most of these guys should be in the 5 range. De Guzman made a poor decision to challenge that guy in the box.

    This team really missed Frings' leadership out there.