Giovinco Watch #18
April 21, 2017
Toronto FC (3) Chicago Fire (1)
Weather: Overcast 11C/ 50F
Sebastian Giovinco and TFC came into this match off of a disappointing performance in the first seasonal encounter of the “Trillium Cup”, defeated by a Columbus Crew side courtesy of a 10 minute defensive blackout. The presence of the fresh face (to the MLS, at least) of Bastian Schweinsteiger added some pepper to a match that promised to reserve some spark. And so it was. The Fire come into this game strong of two consecutive wins and a draw against Montreal Impact, with the former World Champion contributing already to his new team’s points tally, and with Nemanja Nikolic taking on the role of absolute protagonist by leading his side with an impressive 4 goals in 6 matches.
From the very first minutes of the match it was clear that BMO was in for some Giovinco spectacle. In the 10th minute he tested his right foot with a shot that barely missed the top left corner, and two minutes later a shot from outside the box was gathered by Chicago’s goalkeeper Jorge Bava. Only 5 minutes after that Giovinco shoots again, an angled shot that Bava deflects away into corner kick.
At the 24thminute, the Atomic Ant breaks the ice: a run along the top of the box is finished off with a low shot that beats Bava to his right. 1-0 Toronto FC.
Six minutes later Giovinco earns a free kick outside of the box, off to the right of Bava. Despite the less-than-ideal angle, Giovinco’s free kick forces Bava to deflect the ball away into corner. On the ensuing corner kick, Morrow gets the ball along the left side, and crosses it for Zavaleta who heads the ball in. 2-0 Toronto FC.
Right before the end of the half, Giovinco tries to replicate his goal, but the ball ends up wide of goal to end a half that Toronto FC dominated.
After the break Giovinco warms up his foot once again with a free kick, which forces Bava into a corner kick once again. The game at that point slowed down in tempo, with Chicago almost never giving Bono any headaches. Toronto comes close with a few chances, most notably one by Vasquez, but it’s largely ordinary administration by the home side.
At the 81st minute, Giovinco earns himself a free kick about 25 yards out. Watch:
3-1 Toronto FC. Shortly after that Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney decides to allow Giovinco a breather and give some playing time to his teammates on the bench, which the Italian doesn’t appreciate and shows his frustration by steaming into the TFC dressing room beating down some ropes along the way.
A few minutes later Accam scored Chicago’s loan goal, to no avail. Altidore nearly made it 4-1, but Bava superseded himself to parry it into corner kick and keep the score at 3-1 for the home side.
“The game was opening up and Seba knew this, so perhaps he wanted to stay on to score more goals. But I have 30 men on this roster to manage, wanted to add a midfielder on at that point in order to close the game out and also wanted to give the crowd an opportunity to show their appreciation to Giovinco for his great effort tonight. I’ll talk to him”, explained Greg Vanney in the post game presser.
Alas, Giovinco was unavailable for comment.
Giovinco’s Key Moments as narrated live on Twitter (@ItalianFD)
10′: Giovinco off to a lively start. Takes a shot from 20 yards out that just misses the top left corner.
12′: Giovinco’s weak shot is gathered by Chicago’s Bava.
17′: Giovinco’s angled shot is parried away by Bravo.
24′: Giovinco earns a free kick. It’s on net, but easily gobbled up by Bava.
28′: TFC GOAL: GIOVINCO! The Italian slots a low shot to the right of Bava to give the home side the advantage.
31′: Giovinco free kick, saved by Bravo. Toronto corner.
32′: TFC GOAL! Morrow crosses, Zavaleta heads the ball passed Bava.
40′: Giovinco tries to replicate his 1-0 goal but it ends up wide to Bava’s right this time.
46′: Giovinco’s free kick parried away from Bava.
82′: TFC GOAL! GIOVINCO TAKES OUT THE COBWEBS OUT OF THE TOP LEFT CORNER.
84′: Schweinsteiger and Giovinco both subbed off by their respective coaches. The Italian doesn’t appreciate it, storms off into the dressing room knocking down ropes en route.
Giovinco’s Key Stats (via Opta)
Shots = 11
On target = 6
Take ons won: 1
Passes = 49
Passing accuracy = 84%
Giovinco’s match rating 8.0
Giovinco looked his liveliest this season in this match. He was all over the pitch in the first half, scoring two goals (third of the season) always looking dangerous, winning the ball back and switching the play. In the second half Giovinco’s influence was diminished as Toronto slowed down the tempo of the match and administered the advantage, until Giovinco’s free kick which wowed BMO. Alas, he showed some weakness in character by letting out his frustrations publicly after being subbed out.
MVP Watch – League Stats:
Goals = 3
Assist = 0
Shots = 34
Shots on Goal = 13
Games remaining = 28
Giovinco’s Next Game: