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Late goal pushes Whitecaps past Toronto FC

Sportsnaut
May 8, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono (25) and defender Shane O'Neill (27) defend against Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Ryan Gauld (25) during the first half at BC Place. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Tosaint Ricketts scored in the 90th minute to lift the Vancouver Whitecaps to a much-needed 1-0 victory over visiting Toronto FC on Sunday afternoon.

Thomas Hasal saved Alejandro Pozuelo’s first-half penalty kick for Vancouver (2-6-1, 7 points) and then left injured during a second-half sequence in which Jayden Nelson’s apparent go-ahead goal for Toronto (3-6-2, 11 points) was disallowed.

Cody Cropper came on for Hasal and made the last of four Whitecaps saves in his Vancouver debut to complete the shutout win and halt the club’s three-game losing streak.

Ryan Gauld and substitute Lucas Cavallini contributed to the attack down the left flank that resulted in Ricketts’ first goal of the season and first-ever tally against his former club.

Alex Bono made five saves for Toronto, which has now lost four in a row to follow a four-game unbeaten run. Bono’s effort looked like it might be enough to preserve a road point and the Reds’ first shutout of the season until the final minute of normal time.

Off a turnover in midfield, Gauld sprayed the ball wide to Cavallini, who held his run just enough to remain in an onside position down the left.

Cavallini then muscled off defensive pressure at speed as he dribbled toward the 6-yard box, then poked a low cross to Ricketts to finish into the open net.

Toronto believed Ricketts had been offside, but the video assistant referee judged him to have been even with the ball when Cavallini played his pass.

It was the second sequence when replay technology failed to intervene on the visitors’ behalf.

On the first, Toronto thought they’d scored in the 66th minute when Nelson slammed a rebound into the net after Hasal denied Pozuelo.

But referee Victor Rivas ruled Nelsen fouled Hasal on his shot attempt. And while replays showed Nelsen’s foot and Hasal’s hand arrived at the ball virtually at the same exact moment, no review followed.

Toronto did benefit from a video review before halftime that showed Ranko Veselinovic had handled Pozuelo’s cross toward Nelsen inside the penalty area.

But Hasal guessed correctly to his left and easily saved Pozuelo’s poorly struck penalty to keep it even in the 35th minute.

–Field Level Media