Giovinco Watch #19
April 28, 2017
Toronto FC (2) Houston Dynamo (0)
Weather: Overcast 16C/ 61F
Sebastian Giovinco came into this match off of an MLS player of the week performance, putting on a sublime performance versus Chicago Fire. The Dynamo come into this game with a loss, a win and a draw in the last three games, and with a 0-2 record when playing away. This made for a great opportunity for the Atomic Ant to put in another great performance. Eric Torres, Giovinco’s counterpart, was likely to be the source of trouble for TFC with his 7 goals this season, in as many games.
Preceded by its lackluster away form, the Dynamo did little to mind Toronto FC in the first 20 minutes. Giovinco, marked by an excellent Adolfo Machado, was less-than-inspired on the night. His striking partner, on the other hand, was.
On 11 minutes, the Italian warms up his right foot but his shot is angled too far away from the second post and goes wide. A few minutes later, Giovinco tries to feed Altidore but the American can’t connect.
A TFC goal was in the air. At the 16th minute, the Dynamo sitting so low finally pays off for TFC. A great opening by Marky Delgado to Edwards sees TFC’s number 44 square the ball across the big box for Altidore who slots it passed Willis. 1-0 TFC.
The Dynamo tries to respond but Bono is up to the task. The Canadian goalkeeper would be called to come out of his net another two times on the night, responding with solid saves every time.
At the 32nd minute, Altidore strikes again. An amazing combo with Giovinco – who provides the helper – sees TFC’s leading goalscorer hit the 2-0 on a volley, completing his brace.
At the 40th minute of the first half, Seba tries to get on the score sheet, but his left-footed effort hits the post.
In the second half, the game rhythm slows down considerably, and so do scoring chances for TFC’s strikers. Giovinco is given the rare opportunity to score from direct free kick, but his 25 meter effort is tipped wide by Willis.
TFC coach Greg Vanney – as he did in the last game at BMO Field – opts to substitute the hero of the night, in this case Jozy Altidore, and keeps Giovinco on until the end without adding to TFC’s goal tally.
“I’m concerned with some of the rough play out there”, explained Vanney in the post game presser, referring to some of the treatment that Giovinco got from Machado and friends, “we must protect our more talented players”. With respect to giving respite to his players in the upcoming midweek clash against Orlando City, Vanney said that TFC would be “looking for the three points, guns blazing”.
Alas, once again, Giovinco was unavailable for comment.
Giovinco’s Key Moments as narrated live on Twitter (@ItalianFD)
11′: diagonal shot by Giovinco goes wide.
13′: Giovinco feeds a ball through to Altidore but didn’t connect
32′: TFC GOAL! ALTIDORE-GIOVINCO COMBO, WITH THE AMERICAN SCORING HIS BRACE!
40′: Giovinco hits the post with a left footed shot.
46′: Weak shot by Giovinco with his non-favoured left foot.
54′: Giovinco shot blocked by Machado. Not his day.
66′: Giovinco elbowed by Ribeiro. Takes the ensuing free kick, which is parried wide by Willis.
77′: Giovinco’s free kick goes high and wide of goal.
Giovinco’s Key Stats (via Opta)
Shots = 6
On target = 0
Take ons won: 1
Passes = 44
Passing accuracy = 61%
Giovinco’s match rating 6.5
Giovinco’s uppercase performance from last week was not matched. Seba was uninspired despite the fact that the opposition on the evening was no greater than the Fire. Almost always controlled by Machado – who added some rough play to diminish the Italian – Giovinco’s pass accuracy was reduced by 20 percentage points, and was kept from recording shots on goal. Some might say that it’s bad luck, others may point to Houston’s defensive prowess, others yet to a symptom of a bigger problem. Have the seeds of Seba’s discontent been just sown or are they coming up through the soil?
MVP Watch – League Stats:
Goals = 3
Assist = 1
Shots = 45
Shots on Goal = 13
Games remaining = 27
Giovinco’s Next Game: