Photo courtesy of Toronto FC II
VAUGHAN, Ontario – Toronto FC II has rarely started off with early goal-scoring, but the club got a quick start against Bethlehem Steel FC on Wednesday, tallying twice in the first 13 minutes and then holding an advantage the rest of the way en route to a 3-2 victory at the Ontario Soccer Centre. The win put to end a four-game losing streak and five-game winless stretch for TFC II. Luca Uccello and Bubacarr Jobe gave Toronto a 2-0 lead with goals in the second and 13th minutes, respectively, and Liam Fraser posted a second-half score as Toronto scored a season-high three goals. Bethlehem had an answer on two occasions, with Ryan Richter scoring late in the first half and Joshua Heard scoring just three minutes after Fraser’s tally. With the victory, Toronto improves to 4-11-4 (16 points) overall and 3-4-2 at home while Bethlehem falls to 4-6-6 (18 points) overall and 2-4-4 on the road.
2’ – TOR – Luca Uccello (Sal Bernal)
13’ – TOR – Bubacarr Jobe (Shaan Hundal)
39’ – BST – Ryan Richter
63’ – TOR – Liam Fraser
66’ – BST – Joshua Heard (James Chambers)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Toronto orchestrated one of its best starts to the season with two goals within the first 13 minutes. Just 84 seconds into the match, TFC II got on the score sheet. Bethlehem lost possession at midfield and Toronto sprung forward, with Sal Bernal holding his ground to find Lucas Uccello to the left. Uccello spun and fired from 17 yards and inside the right post for a 1-0 lead. Then in the 13th minute, off of a throw-in, Shaan Hundal splits two Steel defenders with a deep through ball to find Bubacarr Jobe. Bethlehem goalkeeper Samir Badr was committed with his run off the line, but Jobe reached the ball first, dribbled to the right and fired it home for a 2-0 advantage.
2. The winner proved to be Liam Fraser’s rebound off of Toronto’s initial free kick. Brian James took the initial free kick, which ricocheted off of Bethlehem’s wall. Fraser lined up the rebound and his 21-yard laser strike snuck inside the left post for a 3-1 advantage as the Reds enjoyed their best offensive performance of the season.
3. Bethlehem finished off a rigorous five-game road trip, posting a 1-2-2 record during that stretch. There certainly could have been some tired legs on the Steel side after enduring a hard-fought 1-0 loss at FC Cincinnati on Saturday. Bethlehem was on its heels in the early going against Toronto as the Steel found themselves needing to make some flustered clearances on occasion. While the defense wasn’t up to par, Bethlehem did maintain some life offensively. Ryan Richter’s 39th-minute, right-footed free kick was well-placed – a shot that dipped after the ball went past Toronto’s four-man wall. That cut Toronto’s lead to 2-1. In the 66th minute, James Chambers crossed in from the left side and connected with Joshua Heard, who snuck through Toronto’s defense and volleyed into the net as he ran toward the near left post.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Liam Fraser, Toronto FC II - Fraser produced one of the biggest highlights of the night, an impressive long-distance rebound off of an initial free kick that eventually served as the game-winner.
Toronto FC II at Harrisburg City Islanders – July 10, 6 p.m. ET, Clipper Magazine Stadium
Bethlehem Steel FC vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds – July 10, 4 p.m. ET, Goodman Stadium