Giovinco Watch #20
May 3, 2017
Toronto FC (2) Orlando City (1)
Weather: Sunny 13C/ 61F
Sebastian Giovinco came into this match still reeling from a nervous performance against a Dynamo defence that frustrated him all game long, keeping him off of the scoresheet. However, the atomic ant still took the opportunity to notch in a cheeky assist to his striking partner, Jozy Altidore, and to strike the post on one occasion. Orlando City came in roaring hot , recording 4 wins in a row, including an important away win at NYC FC. Former AC Milan, Real Madrid attacking midfielder Ricardo Kaka drawing the crowd’s attention on the night, alongside Canadian goal scoring machine Kyle Larin who came in to this game with 6 goals in 7 matches.
City started the match with the right approach, it seems. Attack-minded, they looked the likelier side to get on the scoresheet first. An open game, and a side that featured less physical play than usual.
Then, against the run of play, Toronto takes the lead. Edwards breaks down the left flank puts in a cross, which is deflected and falls to Giovinco who settles it on his other foot and slots it passed former TFC goalie Joe Bendik. 1-0 TFC.
On 24 minutes Vazquez – quite inspired on the evening – slots a ball through to Altidore who is stopped by an excellent Bendik save all alone on goal.
Toronto was looking for more and in the first half looked like they could score at will. At the 37th minute, Giovinco grabs his brace. A cross is deflected onto Bendik who can’t keep hold of it, Vazquez does and unselfishly serves up a rather easy ball for the Atomic Ant who scores his 5th goal of the campaign. 2-0 TFC.
In the dying minutes of the first half, Orlando City gets a goal back, which sets up what would be a difficult second half for TFC. 2-1 TFC.
Between the 49th and 56th minute, Orlando City knocks on the TFC goal three times, to which TFC goalkeeper Bono answers “present”.
Orlando never gave up play until the end with Toronto FC was both lucky and brave to hold on, teeth clenched.
Game Highlights (Courtesy of MLS.com)
In the post-match Vanney remarked that it was key to win on the night, but that late first-half goal foretold what would prove to be a difficult second half for Toronto, who was bailed out a few times by Bono’s incredible saves.
On Giovinco, Vanney said “He’s a special player. He put in a ton of work defensively, and had a good feel for the goals. As he continues to find the right rhythm and space he’ll continue to be dangerous and score the goals”.
Giovinco made himself available in the post match, basking in the glory of his brace, “Scoring goals in front of your fans is fantastic”, he said, in an improved English. When asked about his experience on the night in playing against a former Serie A star like Kaka, Seba remarked “He’s a great player, playing against him was great”.
Giovinco’s Key Moments as narrated live on Twitter (@ItalianFD)
8′: TFC GOAL! SEBASTIAN GIOVINCO! The Atomic Ant settles a ball in the box, cuts to his right and slots the ball passed Bendik
22′: Giovinco cross, deflected is gobbled easily by Bendik
37′: TFC GOAL! Vazquez picks up a loose ball from Bendik and serves it to Giovinco who picks up his second of the game.
63′: Giovinco assists to Altidore in the box but the ball bounces off of him and a defender and is gathered by Bendik.
Giovinco’s Key Stats (via Opta)
Shots = 3
On target = 2
Take ons won: 3
Passes = 64
Passing accuracy = 72%
Giovinco’s match rating 7
Giovinco alternates uppercase performances with lower ones. After an average performance the week prior Giovinco scored a brace and looked dangerous in the first half. In the second, however, he disappeared with the rest of Toronto FC who suffered from Orlando’s determination to draw the match. Extremely efficacious, yet at times elusive.
MVP Watch – League Stats:
Goals = 5
Assist = 1
Shots = 48
Shots on Goal = 15
Games remaining = 26
Giovinco’s Next Game: