Photo courtesy Martin Bazyl / Toronto FC II
VAUGHAN, Ont. – Jordan Hamilton scored the only goal of the game as Toronto FC II defeated Orlando City B 1-0 at the Ontario Soccer Centre on Wednesday afternoon and snapped a 12-game winless streak. Toronto FC II (2-7-5, 11pts) took the lead in just the ninth minute as a quick move through the midfield saw Tsubasa Endoh find Ryan Telfer on the left wing, and his chipped cross to the back post found Hamilton, who controlled and fired home from just outside the six-yard area. TFC II threatened twice more, only for Sergio Camargo and Telfer to be squeezed out in the penalty area inside the opening 20 minutes, and Liam Fraser hit the left post with a fierce shot from 30 yards later in the half. OCB (4-5-4, 16pts) began the second half far better, and almost equalized as Michael Cox forced a good save by TFC II goalkeeper Angelo Cavalluzzo, and Zach Carroll had the rebound cleared off the line by Brandon Aubrey. Toronto threatened to add to its lead midway through the second half as Endoh’s chance was blocked, while Shaan Hundal had a breakaway chance broken up late. Endoh also forced a great low save at the right post by OCB goalkeeper Jake Fenlason with four minutes to go, but Hamilton’s early goal proved enough to get TFC II back in the win column.
9’ – TOR – Jordan Hamilton (Ryan Telfer)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Following the disappointment of conceding late against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday night and settling for a draw, Toronto FC II redoubled its efforts early on Wednesday afternoon and was rewarded with not only an early goal, but enough chances that it could have put Orlando firmly in a corner during the first half. Jordan Hamilton’s first tally this season, his 10th in the USL overall, was a direct result of the link between Liam Fraser and Tsubasa Endoh in midfield, as both players had strong performances that allowed Toronto to control the rhythm of the game.
2. Orlando looked lackluster throughout the first half, perhaps affected by the early injury to Seb Hines that saw the center back substituted in just the third minute. It was clear Head Coach Anthony Pulis had refocused the group to start the second half as OCB brought a far greater energy than it had in the opening 45 minutes. Michael Cox and Zach Carroll both came close to getting the game back on level terms inside the opening five minutes after the break, only to be denied, but Toronto goalkeeper Angelo Cavalluzzo and his back line were on this occasion able to withstand the chances despite their side being outshot 5-1 in the second half before Toronto's late surge almost added a second goal for the hosts.
3. Bringing an end to the club’s 12-game winless streak, and moving off the bottom of the Eastern Conference at least for the time being, should provide a nice boost for TFC II, which again is showing signs as it has at this point in previous seasons that the side is starting to figure things out. The influence Endoh has brought recently after a standout performance against Ottawa Fury FC in the Canadian Championship Semifinal appears to be rubbing off on the players around him, which bodes well, even if a run toward a playoff position remains a longshot.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Tsubasa Endoh, Toronto FC II – Endoh was key to TFC II’s victory, recording a 91-percent completion percentage overall, recording three shots on goal, and helping set up the only goal of the game.
Toronto FC II at Charleston Battery – June 24, 7 p.m. ET, MUSC Health Stadium
Orlando City B at Ottawa Fury FC – June 20, 11 a.m. ET, TD Place