TORONTO (CP) – The young Canadian duo of Jordan Hamilton and Ryan Telfer combined to provide a better ending than the way Toronto FC’s match was progressing against Sporting Kansas City on Friday.
Telfer’s pinpoint pass to Hamilton for an in-close goal in added time bailed out their team for a 2-2 draw at BMO Field. But the single point extended Toronto’s winless streak to seven outings (0-4-3) heading into the Gold Cup break.
Toronto (5-6-4) had been frustrated earlier in the game when on two occasions Kansas City was awarded two successful penalty kicks from Felipe Gutierrez after video reviews.But Hamilton’s goal in the 95th minute resulted in a single point.
“I was feeling that their defenders couldn’t keep up with me or Telfer,” said the 23-year-old Hamilton, a native of Scarborough, Ont. “Before that play, me and Telfer were a little too far apart. (Toronto head coach) Greg (Vanney) was screaming us from the sidelines to come closer together.
“As soon as we did, then (Alejandro) Pozuelo plays a great ball to Telfer and he squares a lovely pass and I’m just there to do my job.”
Telfer had been called up from the Canadian Premier League’s York9 to help short-handed Toronto. The home side was without United States internationals Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore as well as Canadians Jonathan Osorio and Ashtone Morgan. All four are on international duty ahead of the Gold Cup. Defenders Auro (hamstring) and Chris Mavinga (hamstring) also missed the match.
Both the 25-year-old Telfer, a native of Mississauga, Ont., and Hamilton were second-half substitutes. Their game-tying play only temporarily put a smile on Vanney’s face. He was still seething about the two video-review penalty kicks.
“I’m exhausted and it wasn’t because of my team,” he said.
Referee Fotis Bazakos was called upon by the video assistance referee to take a look at two possible fouls inside the box.
The second, a tripping foul to Toronto midfielder Nick DeLeon, resulted in Gutierrez’s penalty kick in the 73rd minute to break a 1-1 draw. DeLeon was yellow-carded for the play.
Kansas City snatched a 1-0 lead on a successful penalty kick from Gutierrez in the 25th minute. Toronto defender Drew Moor fouled Gerso on the edge of the 18-yard box.
Bazakos was summoned to the sidelines for a video review, and it was determined the foul occurred inside the 18-yard line. As a result, Kansas City was awarded a penalty kick.
“The first call was disgraceful, and that changes the game because we had the momentum,” Vanney said. “We were attacking their goal, we had them on the ropes and there is nothing more
“It was not a foul. There are a lot of hands on peoples’ chests. (Gerso’s) momentum was going. He was falling off balance and he wasn’t going to get back to the ball. If (Bazakos) thinks it was in the box, I don’t think he calls it.
“My frustration was once you set the standard you have to call it that way the rest of the game. But that wasn’t the case.”
Bazakos explained his view.
“We called the foul, but when he showed me the angle, I saw it was inside so that’s the mistake,” he told a pool reporter.
Toronto drew level late in the first half. DeLeon finished off a dandy passing play from defender Justin Morrow and Pozuelo, who enjoyed a strong game.
Kansas City (3-5-7) was missing Botond Barath, Krisztian Nemeth, Nico Hasler and Johnny Russell. They were all overseas for UEFA 2020 European qualifiers this weekend.
Toronto doesn’t play again until June 22 in Dallas because of the league’s Gold Cup break.