TFC settle for draw against Fire after surrendering late goal

Greg Vanney wasn’t worried about his team’s fitness on Saturday following a gruelling run in CONCACAF Champions League play, he was more concerned with Major League Soccer’s implementation of it’s video assistant referee.

Toronto FC played the Chicago Fire to a 2-2 draw at BMO Field, but felt they were robbed of a win.

Alan Gordon`s goal in injury time salvaged a 2-2 draw for the Chicago Fire0:57

Trailing 2-0, Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger got the visitors on the board in the 69th minute as his header off Diego Campos’s corner kick got past Alex Bono. However, prior to Schweinsteiger’s header, replay showed Nemanja Nikolic attempt to head the ball from an offside position.

The play in question was not reviewed by referee Alan Kelly after it appeared he was relayed a message in his ear by the VAR that he might want to take a second look.

“There’s a percentage of the run of play that maybe comes down to [fatigue], but I don’t think the game was decided by that,” said Vanney. “I think the game was decided by a player who is offside, not necessarily Schweinsteiger, but the other player right in front of, or next to, Schweinsteiger who tries to head the ball, who was in an offside position, and makes a play for the ball who is two feet from Schweinsteiger, is offside.”

Alan Gordon scored the tying goal in second-half injury time for Chicago (2-3-2). ‘Keeper Richard Sanchez made two saves.

Vanney questions pivotal decision

Jonathan Osorio and Victor Vazquez scored for Toronto while Alex Bono made six saves. With the draw, Toronto (1-4-1) avoided a third consecutive loss in MLS play.

In the first half, the Reds appeared to take a 2-0 lead in the 11th minute when Sebastian Giovinco one-timed a Nicolas Hasler feed past Sanchez, but Hasler was ruled offside after video review.

“He certainly took his time to review our [goal], I think that would be respectful to do the same for us and didn’t,” said Vanney. “I think, as I look at it back, he’s offside. Everybody that I know of understands the interpretation of the rule, player who is offside, in front of the goal and attempts to make a play on the goal, and effects the potential decision making of anybody around it, is offside. That is [their] first goal, that leads to momentum shift a touch because now they’re back at 2-1 instead of 2-0.

“To me, today’s game was about decisive moments and we didn’t get the right end of the deciding moment.”

Depleted Reds

The Reds were playing with a depleted back end as defenders Chris Mavinga (hamstring), Nick Hagglund (hamstring), Drew Moor (quad), Eriq Zavaleta (quad) and Justin Morrow (calf) were all unavailable for selection. Forward Jozy Altidore, who was injured in Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League final, was also out.

In the game’s dying seconds, Gordon put home the rebound off Schweinsteiger’s shot to pull the Fire even.

Osorio put Toronto on the board in the eighth minute by tapping in a Giovinco cross for his first goal of the season.

Vazquez doubled Toronto’s lead in the 22nd minute as his chip shot landed just inside the far post.

Vanney wasn’t the only one furious at Saturday’s implementation of VAR in Saturday’s match, Reds captain Michael Bradley admitted there is confusion over the league’s new video review procedures.

“Nobody has any idea what VAR is, when it can be used, when it can’t be used,” said Bradley. “Some times it has to be clean and obvious, other times it doesn’t. Some things are checked, some things aren’t. Check takes five minutes. It’s a joke.”

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