Visit from Miami adds to Reds’ woes
With stars out of action, last-place team extends losing streak to six games
Christian Makoun’s 95th-minute penalty lifted Inter Miami CF to a 1-0 win over 10-man Toronto FC on Tuesday, extending TFC’s losing streak to six and winless run to nine (07-2).
The penalty was called after Chris Mavinga took down Makoun in the box.
There was confusion in the 87th minute when Toronto substitute Jacob Shaffelburg appeared to have scored, knocking in the ball after goalkeeper Nick Marsman was forced into a poor, emergency clearance under pressure. The ball went straight to Shaffelburg, whose shot appeared to cross the line before a diving Marsman bundled it out.
The Toronto substitutes, warming up on the goal-line, all thought it was a goal but it was eventually deemed a corner. MLS does not have goal-line technology.
Miami (9-9-5) failed to take advantage until the dying seconds after defender Kemar Lawrence was sent off late in the first half for preventing a goal-scoring opportunity.
Toronto (3-15-6) acquitted itself well despite being a man down, hanging on for the single point.
TFC is now 0-2-4 at BMO Field since returning home from its pandemic-prompted sojourn in the U.S.
With thunderstorms in the forecast and capacity capped at 15,000 by COVID, the game drew a sparse crowd announced at 7,970 to BMO Field.
The contest, Miami’s first MLS outing in Canada, featured two clubs headed in different directions.
Toronto, mired in the 27-team league’s basement, has not won since July 24, a 2-1 decision in Chicago.
TFC’s fall has been sudden. Last year, in a pandemic-shortened season, it finished runnerup in the Supporters’ Shield standings at 12-5-5. Calculated over a full season, at its rate of 1.91 points a game, Toronto would have finished with 64 points.
TFC came into Tuesday’s game with 15 points through 23 matches and was on pace for a 22-point season. Only five teams in MLS history have had fewer points at the same stage of the season, most recently D.C. United in 2013 (13 points).
After a 2-8-2 start, Miami is unbeaten in six (5-0-1) and had only lost one of its last 11 outings (7-1-3).
Phil Neville’s team has recorded four straight clean sheets.
Miami was coming off 1-0 wins over Cincinnati and Columbus and looking for its first-ever three-game MLS win streak.
Both sides were on a short turnaround, having played Saturday. Miami against Columbus while TFC lost 2-0 at FC Cincinnati, which came into the contest winless in 12 games (0-5-7).
Miami had taken 21 of a possible 30 points over its previous 10 games and, in ninth place in the East, was just two points below the playoff line. Toronto had collected six (1-6-3) over the same period and was 16 points out of the playoffs.
Toronto was without two of its three designated players with reigning league MVP Alejandro Pozuelo missing a second straight game due to a lower body injury. Star striker Jozy Altidore is recovering from ankle surgery.