The Toronto FC defeated DC United by scoring four goals in extra time and advanced to the second round of the MLS playoffs. It was a display of a fantastic mentality of the Canadian team, who, although suffering a shock in the last moments of the regular 90 minutes, managed to bounce back and demolish United.
Following Wayne Rooney‘s corner in the third minute of the injury time, Lucas Rodriguez equalized the result to 1-1, freezing the BMO Field and the spectators. The home team had an advantage from the 32nd minute and held the ticket to the next round for more than one hour.
But what happened in the extra times was simply unbelievable. Toronto managed to net four times in the opening 15 minutes and do something which hasn’ been seen in a long time. It was a rhapsody for the Canadian team.
Jonathan Osorio scored a brace, Richie Laryea and Nick DeLeon one each, to completely annihilate the guests from the USA capital.
“Incredible response,” said captain Michael Bradley. “The response, the mentality to not let that (tying goal) faze us, to regroup and be ready to go again. That part was a sign of a big team.”
Just days ago, Bradley participated in a 2-0 loss of his USA against Team Canada at the same venue. Now, he participates in one of the best ever MLS playoff games.
The hosts reached a lead in the 32nd minute through Marco Delgado, and everything seemed ok until the end of the first half. Toronto was controlling the tempo and didn’t allow the guests to have some good chances.
However, DC responded in the latter 45 minutes and tried to be more aggressive. They had several very good chances before the equalizer, and it was a bit odd that neither of them turned out to be a goal. It was pretty much due to fantastic reactions of Toronto’s goalkeeper Quentin Westberg.
“You’ve got Wayne’s three (chances) and Ola’s 1-v-1,” DC United coach Ben Olsen said. “We didn’t, over the course of the day, make enough plays to win it in regular time, and then we threw so much at it in the end.”
Also, the hosts kept on in the same manner, and they too had a few opportunities to seal the game. But eventually, that didn’t happen.
This game was the last one for Wayne Rooney in the MLS. One of the greatest English strikers of all time decided to go back home and become a member of the Championship team Derby County. Not only that, Rooney will be an assistant manager, and slowly start to learn the secrets of the managerial business.
MLS became one of the most attractive leagues in the world, following his arrival, and the Englishman contributed a lot for that to happen. It is why he will be remembered in DC forever.
“He gave a lot to the organization,” Olsen said. “From a team standpoint, on the field, some wonderful moments.”
As for Toronto, they are now facing New York City in the quarterfinals of the MLS playoffs.