Toronto FC lost 1-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday at BC Place after a last minute goal by Tosaint Ricketts earned the home side three much needed points.
But it almost ended entirely differently.
In the 66th minute of the match, midfielder Kosi Thompson made a run down the right that sparked Alejandro Pozuelo to attempt a shot from a close range. Goalkeeper Thomas Hasal made the initial save, leaving Jayden Nelson to find the loose ball and complete the strike into the net.
But before the visitors could celebrate the opening goal, VAR ruled Nelson had fouled Hasal to disallow the goal. After the final whistle, Toronto FC head coach Bob Bradley walked directly to the referees to discuss the call, one he has labelled a “mistake”.
“It’s a mistake,” said Bradley in his post-game press conference. “And obviously, we have [Video Review] and that’s on the [Video Review] to see it. It’s clear. Everyone that has seen it realizes that Hasal never had control.
“It’s too bad that I think they say that he might’ve broken or dislocated his finger, that’s too bad. But I don’t know exactly, that might have been on the shot as the ball came loose. So, he never had control, it’s a good goal and the system fails. You can have a system, but if the person responsible in that moment can’t see that, then the system doesn’t work. So we’ll see what PRO (Professional Referee Organization) has to say about it. But for me, it’s a clear mistake.”
The decision to disallow the goal and subsequent efforts by Ricketts marked the fourth consecutive defeat for Toronto FC, after losing to NYCFC on April 24, and FC Cincinnati on April 30 and May 4.
The visiting side was also missing eight first-team regulars, including center back Carlos Salcedo and Jonathan Osorio.
“I feel bad for the group. We go through a stretch where we’re trying really hard to just keep everybody going forward. A lot of guys put in big efforts out there today. And then to come away with nothing, and then with some of the different calls, yeah, I feel bad for these guys. A reminder that sometimes it’s unfair and we’ve got to keep a positive way,” said Bradley.
“We’ve got to keep fighting together. I really want to make sure that they keep coming in and helping their teammates every day and realize that ‘look, if we stick together and do the right things, we’ll get through it.’ But I’m really disappointed for the players today.”
Toronto returns to the pitch against Orlando City on Saturday at BMO Field.