Toronto FC showed their superiority with a dominant 4-0 victory over York United in the Canadian Championship quarter-final, Wednesday at BMO Field.
The Reds killed any David and Goliath scenario quickly during their first encounter with this CPL side, but a foundation for a GTA professional soccer rivalry is set.
Jacob Shaffelburg, the 21-year-old Canadian was influential for the Reds as he produced two pin-point crosses setting up tap-ins for Jonathan Osorio and Ifunanyachi Achara.
Yeferson Soteldo slotted home a penalty for a well deserved goal after a strong outing. Noble Okello capped off the scoring with his first in TFC red.
Jimmy Brennan, Toronto FC’s former captain and now the Nine Stripes head coach, was well aware of the quality that his team were coming up against.
“I think it took us a while to get going, things felt a bit rushed (and) panicked at times, it’s not normally like us to give the ball away,” said Brennan during the post-game press conference. “It did take us a little while to get adjusted to the game and settled down.”
Many York players will be disappointed in the result, it was arguably the biggest match in the club’s short history and gives them a taste of competing with elite level competition.
“I think it was a big learning curve for a lot of our young players,” said Brennan. “Especially to see where they’re at and the level that they need to go.”
United only managed one shot on target opposed to Toronto’s 11. Towards the end of the first half, the Reds looked to be creating chance after chance and the halftime whistle couldn’t have come soon enough for Brennan’s men.
York came out significantly stronger in the second half and were more adjusted to the pace of the game, but Toronto possessed too much quality and in the end the younger, less experienced team was outclassed.
Nathan Ingham had another impressive performance for the losing side. The keeper made 11 saves with some quality stops through 90 minutes, ultimately keeping the scoreline more respectable than it could have been for the CPL club.
Under different circumstances Ingham believes the game may have gone in another direction.
“The weather can be a big factor both ways so it changes the game a little bit, but it was tough to connect passes, it was just a sloppy game all around,” said the Nine Stripes shot stopper. “I think a couple touches here and there (the game) could have gone the other way.”
The Canadian Championship is Toronto’s only realistic option at silverware this season, as they sit last in their MLS division. York U FC are still very much in the hunt for a playoff spot in the CPL, currently sitting in fourth in their table.
Toronto will face-off against Pacific FC in the semi-final of the Canadian Championship.