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Weather, fortunes change for Toronto FC in comeback victory

Weather, fortunes change for Toronto FC in comeback victory

mlssoccer.com

The skies opened up in Toronto, and so did the TFC attack as the Reds scored twice late to grab a rare win over Columbus on Saturday.

TORONTO -- It truly was a weird afternoon at BMO Field.

What started off as a beautiful Saturday at the stadium at the foot of Lake Ontario ended in a torrential downpour, with the play on the pitch reflective of Mother Nature's apparent split personality.

Toronto FC had gone down early to the visiting Columbus Crew in what looked to be yet another dire effort at BMO Field, but the home side's fortunes changed just as quickly as the weather. With two quick strikes in the dying moments, Toronto found itself on the winning end of a 2-1 result.

"It's nice to be on the other end," TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen said after the match, referring to his team's frustrating penchant for giving up late leads or draws this season. "But in saying that I think it's a learning experience. As a team you evolve through these kind of things."

The match itself evolved from a snoozefest in the opening 45 minutes to a thrilling finish that saw the Reds pour on the attack against a bunkering Columbus side that seemed a bit too eager to hold on to its one-goal lead.

"To the players' credit, they really stood up because obviously it was a difficult first half," Nelsen said. "Not that Columbus [was} doing anything to hurt us, it was more that we were doing it to ourselves really, we were punishing ourselves. It was mistake from our own.

"Sometimes you can either withdraw into the shell or come out and try to do something about it."
Instrumental in TFC's late-game turnaround was rookie Jonathan Osorio, whose move to a central attacking role from the wing sparked a Reds offense that was lackluster for much of the first hour.

The tactical change was rewarded in the 87th minute when the Toronto native charged onto a nice flick by Jeremy Brockie and slotted home to level the game. The finish was described by Nelsen as a "veteran" play, and set up a frantic final few minutes that was punctuated by Andrew Wiedeman's injury time winner.

Nelsen was full of praise for his prized rookie, who now has four goals to his credit after making the TFC roster as preseason filler.

"Oso was probably having one of those days, I can say that because he said that to me," Nelsen said. "What I love about that kid is he never stops running, he never stops trying to do things, he doesn't back down, and he's not scared of making mistakes."

For Osorio, his personal progress is secondary to the team's success, and he felt that his side took another step on Saturday toward respectability in a trying season.

"Justice is finally served for us," the 21-year-old midfielder said. "We've been working hard and we've came close, and finally we turned the tables today. I think we showed great character today. The first half was not our best at all, but we came in [at] the half, we regrouped, and we turned it on in the second half.

"There was only one team that was playing in the second half."

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