A poor second half by TFC allowed Chicago to claim a point at BMO Field, powered by goals by two former Toronto players.
TORONTO — One look at the statistics for Toronto FC's 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire on Saturday night at BMO Field would show that the home side dominated in most key areas, but coach Ryan Nelsen pointed out that the game is ultimately decided on the field.
"We had a lot of the ball, we had a lot of possession," Nelsen told reporters after the match. "The analytical guys will say that we had all the possession and that, but we didn't really do much. It was really comfortable possession in front of their 10 [outfield players], and they sat back and we really didn't punish them.
"We had a couple of really good chances and we kind of left them in the game."
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Toronto took the lead twice in the match, allowing the Fire to equalize on two occasions. Adding insult to injury was the fact that both goals were scored by former TFC strikers, as Robert Earnshaw and Quincy Amarikwa each netted for Chicago.
Nelsen said that he wasn't bothered by that fact, insisting that "when any player scores against us it stings," but the Fire's biggest offensive output in the league since June 7 put Toronto closer to the brink of being caught by the teams below it in a tightening Eastern Conference playoff race.
So while TFC will bank the point and try to forge ahead in its quest for a first postseason appearance, a lackluster draw against a league bottom-feeder can't become habitual.
"At this point every game matters, every point matters," said defender Mark Bloom, who returned to TFC's lineup on Saturday after a lengthy injury spell. "Yeah, we did get a point but we're at home against a team that we should have beat.
"It's disappointing, but at the same time we've got to move on."