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Toronto 3, Chicago 1: First Thoughts

Giovinco, TFC dominate the Fire, bring Chicago’s momentum to a screeching halt

MLS: Chicago Fire at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking up de Leeuw and Harrington...not a bad idea.

Solignac mentioned he’s more comfortable up top, but he’s looked pretty darn alright on the wing. Glad to see him starting again.

Really expecting our midfield to outduel TFC. The downward spiral that is Michael Bradley should continue vs. Schweinsteiger/Dax/Juninho.

Really good turnout for this match. Not as many empty seats as I would have imagined, especially with the Leafs playing.

KICKOFF!

1 - de Leeuw just got rocked. Free kick early on to the Fire.

3 - FIRE GOAL - BUT NO FIRE GOAL - OFFSIDE (Nikolic)

3 - Fire a bit sloppy and a bit unlucky and TFC have had a few good opportunities already

5 - Fire are pressing really high up the pitch. On the road, putting pressure on the home team, gotta admit, I like it.

8 - TFC great link up play moving forward and are showing plenty of offensive prowess

11 - Giovinco looking juuuuuust fine — he just smashed a shot inches wide. Beat Bava, too. He is looking as aggressive and fired up as ever.

12 - Long balls for Chicago haven’t been very effective so far. Keeping possession in midfield may be a better option here.

14 - Let’s just say if I had a pair of scissors, Harrington would have a new hairstyle.

15 - YELLOW CARD - McCarty. Not happy with a call and blasted the ball out of play. Not good for our main CDM to pick up a warning for that.

20 - Our D is really panicking at the back any time a half chance appears. Need cooler heads or they’re going to make a mistake.

22 - TFC settling in here and the Fire seem to be getting a little overwhelmed.

24 - YELLOW CARD - Kappelhof. Bad challenge on Giovinco who was cutting in on his right foot. Giovinco takes the FK, and Bava saves a decent effort.

26 - Bava injured? His is like 100 years old... (and now he’s alright)

28 - GOAL - TORONTO. Giovinco with a beautiful strike. Someone wanna tell Harrington about Giovinco?

31 - de Leeuw pulls down Bradley, viciously argues against it. Another great FK opp for TFC, and Bava just touches it over the bar.

32 - GOAL - TORONTO. Short corner, Morrow curls it into the box with his left, and Zavaleta heads it home. 2-0, Toronto.

36 - Chicago putting a bit of much needed pressure on now, and Soli wins a free kick. Schweinsteiger with a dipping FK but never was going to trouble the keeper.

39 - Giovinco nearly scores again. He’s absolutely running circles around the Fire defense.

45 - Fire force a turnover late here and Pass DMC with a decent effort, but nothing comes of it.

Halftime Thought: TFC getting into the final third of the pitch effortlessly. That’s the main problem here.

Honestly, let’s just put up a good fight in this second half. Toronto will most likely sit back, let’s pressure them and get back into this one.

46 - Welp, that was quick. Meira pulls down Jozy and it’s a TFC free kick.

48 - Practice this week: Defending Set Pieces.

50 - Were we in the same locker room at halftime? There are still ACRES of space between the midfield and the defense.

53 - The Fire still cannot get anything going down the wings. Might be time for Accam to come on.

56 - de Leeuw and Solignac have swapped wings, in an effort to get something, anything going.

60 - Schweinsteiger is so great. He can make something out of nothing, giving the Fire at least a chance in these tough matches.

61 - Accam coming on. Gloves and short sleeves. I’ve never understood this combo...

67 - The 5-3-2 is giving the Fire fits. They can’t find any space and every time they get forward they’re immediately closed down.

70 - Daniel Johnson coming on for Niko, who’s been completely invisible.

72 - Hand Ball - Toronto. He was ABSOLUTELY inside the box, but the FK is given just on the corner of the box. Definitely could (should) have been a pen...

73 - Daniel Johnson just blasted a shot, maybe a foot wide left. Good attempt there.

76 - Time to ramp it up, fellas, with Vincent and Harrington getting more and more forward. Time’s running out to salvage a point.

76 - Altidore nearly makes it 3. Giovinco with a beautifully placed pass but Jozy just puts it over the bar.

81 - Oh hey, the Bulls are down by 19.

82 - Giovinco wins a free kick on the edge of the box. In other news, water is wet.

82 - GOAL - TORONTO. Giovinco just absolutely painted the ball in the top left corner. Magnificent shot. And the route is on...

85 - Alvarez on for Bastian.

88 - GOAL! CHICAGO! Accam plays a nice give and go with Solignac, and Accam hammers it home. 3-1, Toronto.

90+3 - Bava just kept Altidore from making this 4-1. Good save.

FINAL: Toronto 3, Chicago 1.

Final Thought: Aaaaaaaargh. From about 20 minutes on, Toronto simply dominated this match. Simply the better team. Lots to improve upon. No need to panic, but maybe time to readjust the expectations.