Toronto FC rallies for thrilling win over Minnesota

Paola Ditto
Aprile 20, 2019

BMO Field has witnessed plenty of memorable contests in its time, but it's hard to remember one more entertaining than Friday night's affair between Toronto FC and Minnesota United.

Jordan Hamilton scored two goals in less than three minutes late in the second half, leading Toronto FC to a 4-3 home win over Minnesota United on Friday night.

He had scored two spectacular goals in his Toronto debut - his first brace as a professional - on March 29 against New York City FC and he delivered two more gems Friday.

Pozuelo, who now has four goals and five assists in four MLS games with Toronto (4-1-1), had given Toronto a 2-1 lead. On the positive side, the attack is in in fine form, with 18 goals through the first six games of the season.

Toronto (4-1-1) has just one clean sheet this season and has conceded eight goals in the last three games and 11 goals in all. We showed great character to come back into. "There's clearly some things we need to work on and deal with". "We had a good shape about us, but we've conceded poor goals again". "The one thing I know is that we played one of the best teams in the league, and for large parts of the game, I thought we were the superior team". We always need to take the points.

Another issue brewing behind the scenes appears to be the growing tension between forward Jozy Altidore and club president Bill Manning.

Altidore nearly beat Mannone, a former teammate at England's Sunderland, late in the half but his deflection went high.

"Which I think is ridiculous", said Altidore, who has had a history of hamstring problems. "So now this is what I'm faced with - games of egos".

"But to run a club you've got to be able to put your ego aside and put the players first".

Vanney made two lineup changes from last week' 3-2 loss in Seattle, sitting goalkeeper Quentin Westberg and defender Eriq Zavaleta.

Brazilian fullback Auro Jr., who missed the last two games with a hamstring issue, came on as a second-half substitute. The defence is rickety without veteran Drew Moor, now out with an adductor injury.

Friday's contest was the first at BMO Field since the new hybrid pitch was installed - the old playing surface was recently reinforced with artificial fibres stitched into the natural grass.

Toronto and Minnesota have met just three times, producing 19 goals.

Darwin Quintero scored twice, once from the penalty spot, and Angelo Rodriguez added another for Minnesota (3-3-1), which finished with nine men after Jan Gregus and Francisco Calvo were sent off in the 89th and 91st minutes, respectively.

Two minutes later, Justin Morrow made a probing run down the left flank and played a low ball into the middle for Pozuelo to blast by Minnesota goalkeeper Vito Mannone from in close.

Toronto bounced back with two goals in two minutes, both from Pozuelo.

Pozuelo almost completed his hat trick moments later, but Mannone came up with a fabulous diving save to deny the Spaniard.

Minnesota came out far more aggressive in attack to start the second half and was rewarded for its efforts.

Romain Metanire hit a cross from the right side into the penalty box where Rodriguez rose above the Toronto defense and headed it home to make it 2-2.

In the 69th minute, Minnesota took the 3-2 lead when Quintero converted a penalty kick after Rodriguez was brought down by Chris Mavinga in the penalty box.

The lead was short-lived, though, as Hamilton came to the rescue.

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