Playoff berth giveaway by TFC

STEVEN SANDOR, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:22 AM ET

Toronto FC wasn't pretty in pink yesterday afternoon.

Cornell Glen's equalizer three minutes into stoppage time gave San Jose a 1-1 draw with the Reds at BMO Field, putting a serious dent into TFC's playoff hopes.

It marked the eighth time this season that Toronto's defence had given up an equalizing or winning goal in the final 20 minutes of a game.

This one, however, was the worst of all. Had TFC held on for the three points, it would have, at least temporarily, moved into the eighth and final playoff spot in MLS. Instead, with two games left in the season, the Reds, while they haven't been eliminated, need major help if they are to make the playoffs for the first time in team history. They are tied for ninth spot with D.C. United and FC Dallas. And it's a dodgy ninth-place tie, as TFC lose the tiebreaker with Dallas.

For the second time this season, TFC donned pink jerseys as a show of support for breast-cancer research. Their charitable mood was on full display when San Jose snatched a draw.

Glen's goal came after a mad scramble and TFC failed to get the ball clear. An ensuing cross was deflected by defender Nana Attakora right to Glen, whose bouncing shot gave keeper Brian Edwards, in for regular starter Stefan Frei, no chance.

Edwards had tried to call Attakora off the ball, but the defender admitted that he simply couldn't hear his goalkeeper's instructions.

A CRUEL TURN

For Attakora, who scored TFC's goal and was the club's best player for most of the 90 minutes, it was a cruel turn. But, for his coach and teammates, giving up late goals has become something they've regularly had to explain.

"The confidence isn't there," said Edwards. "But, as a group we are angry, hungry. We haven't thrown in the towel."

Coach Chris Cummins said he could feel the goal coming, as TFC's players had stopped pushing up the field and were defending way too deep.

"We haven't turned up for the last few minutes," Cummins said. "We've spoiled what would have been a decent performance."

"We've got to able to kill the game off," said defender Jim Brennan. "We let them come at us, come at us, come at us."

The Reds were without a handful of key players. Frei was held out due to a hand injury. Defender Marvell Wynne was out with a hamstring problem. Midfielder Carl Robinson will miss the rest of the season after having facial surgery earlier in the week.

And midfielder Amado Guevara was on World Cup qualifying duty with Honduras.

STEVEN.SANDOR@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos