Recap: Toronto FC drop points after surrendering two-goal lead to Charlotte FC
It was a tale of two halves at BMO Field as Toronto FC let a two-goal slip in the second 45 to ultimately share the spoils with Charlotte FC.
The Reds may have extended their unbeaten run to five games, equalling their longest streak from 2022, but Bob Bradley’s side have won just one game in six so far this season.
TFC began the proceedings with high energy, asserting themselves in the middle of the park to take control early on. In the sixth minute, the Reds won a corner, and what followed was arguably one of the most spectacular goals at BMO Field in recent history.
Federico Bernardeschi looped home an Olimpico to set the home crowd alight. The Euro 2020 winner has now scored three goals in six league games, a bright start to his first full season in Toronto.
Following that spectacle, Charlotte were still unable to find their rhythm despite going a goal down inside 10 minutes. Slipshod passes and a lack of creativity up front hindered them from pursuing a genuine opportunity to grab an equalizer.
With the half progressing well for the hosts, Toronto had chances through Bernardeschi and Ayo Akinola to double the lead, but it was an unlikely source who gave the hosts a two-goal cushion just before the break.
Michael Bradley, who has now scored more MLS regular-season goals against Charlotte (3) than any other club, rose up to head home a Brandon Servania corner, the club captain’s first of the 2023 campaign.
A comfortable lead 45 minutes in was just the outcome Bob Bradley would have hoped for, especially given the windy conditions on the night. However, it was Charlotte’s turn to come alive as the two sides returned for the second half.
Just five minutes into the second 45, Ben Bender pulled one back for the visitors, becoming the first-ever Charlotte FC player to score against Toronto FC.
As the 2022 expansion side established themselves in the game, TFC grew frustrated, as seen by the change in the players’ body language over the two halves.
Then, in the 70th minute, Charlotte found their equalizer through Kamil Jozwiak, who slotted the ball past Sean Johnson from close range.
Creating little in the dying minutes, TFC were forced to settle for a point on a night where execution let them down.
Post-game, Bob Bradley spoke on his side’s failure to execute in the second half.
“We created maybe two to three good or half chances, but couldn’t quite make the final part of it work. We are most disappointed in the way we let them back into it too easily.”
Johnson also lamented dropping two points on a night where the Reds let three points slip.
“Obviously this is a little bit frustrating to be up two goals and especially at home, and not close it out and give up points that I think we should have had tonight,” said TFC’s shot stopper.
Seven points from six games sees Toronto FC currently sitting ninth in the Eastern Conference, with the focus now turning to a trip to the Music City to take on Jacob Shaffelburg and Nashville SC on Matchday 7.