Dájome's late goal helps Whitecaps earn draw with Cincinnati
Toronto FC shutout by Chicago Fire; Colombian teenager Jhon Duran scores twice
Cristian Dájome scored in the 82nd minute to help the Vancouver Whitecaps earn a 2-2 draw with FC Cincinnati on Wednesday night.
Alvaro Barreal scored in the 3rd minute to stake Cincinnati (7-7-7) to an early lead. Ryan Gauld knotted the score two minutes later for Vancouver (7-9-5).
Cincinnati, which is 1-0-5 in its last six matches, took a 2-1 lead into halftime after Brandon Vazquez connected in the 23rd minute. Gauld had an assist on Dajome's equalizer.
WATCH | Dájome helps Whitecaps earn draw with FC Cincinnati:
Cincinnati outshot the Whitecaps 15-11 with a 7-4 advantage in shots on goal.
Cody Cropper had four saves for Vancouver. Roman Celentano stopped two shots for Cincinnati.
WATCH | Whitecaps' Javain Brown, Cody Cropper collide heavily against Cincinnati:
Colombian teenager Jhon Duran scored twice in the first 16 minutes as the Chicago Fire defeated Toronto FC 2-0.
Toronto, whose defence has been suspect all season, could not handle Duran's pace and power. And it failed to muster much offence.
TFC defender Chris Mavinga was second-best to the Colombian youth international on both of his goals and didn't last the first half. Fellow centre backs Shane O'Neill and Lukas MacNaughton, who replaced Mavinga, were both yellow-carded in the first half for trying to illegally slow down Duran.
Duran was 17 when he signed with Chicago in January 2021, becoming the youngest international player signing in MLS history. He spent the 2021 season with Colombia's Envigado FC before his contract with the Fire officially kicked in.
The loss ended Toronto's 14-game unbeaten run (11-0-3) against Chicago dating back to September 2015. No MLS team has ever gone 15 straight regular-season meetings against a single opponent without losing.
WATCH | Toronto FC digs early hole in defeat to Chicago Fire:
Both teams came into the game needing a change in fortune.
Chicago (5-10-5) started the day at the bottom of the 14-team Eastern Conference, two points and two places below Toronto (5-11-4). After going 2-0-2 to start the season, the Fire were mired in a 2-10-3 slump going into Wednesday's match.
The win moved the Fire up the standings, past Toronto.
TFC is now winless in its last four league outings (0-3-1), has just two victories in its last 13 games (2-9-2) and has yet to win on the road this season (0-6-3).
Toronto's defence looked shaky from the start Wednesday and Chicago went ahead in the fourth minute after Mavinga lost the ball under Duran's pressing just inside the Chicago half.
The ball went to Chris Mueller whose through ball found Duran behind the Toronto defence and the 18-year-old beat a defenceless Quentin Mavinga with Chicago's first shot of the evening.
It marked the seventh goal Toronto has given up in the first 15 minutes of a match this season. Only Montreal, with eight, has conceded more in that period.
Duran beat Mavinga again in the 16th minute, outmuscling and racing past him after taking an elegant flick-on by Brian Gutierrez at midfield. Once again Westberg was left unprotected and Duran slipped the ball past the 'keeper as he came out for his third goal of the season.
28 straight games without clean sheet
Mavinga limped off in the 31st minute, holding the back of his left thigh.
Toronto's only scoring chance of the half came in the 41st minute when newly acquired midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye's curling shot from outside the penalty box forced a diving save from 18-year-old goalkeeper Gaga Slonina, who reportedly is being targeted by England's Chelsea.
Duran left to applause from the Chicago fans in the 68th minute. Five minutes later, Slonina made an acrobatic one-handed save to tip away Criscito's long-range shot.
Toronto came into the game 26th in the 28-team league on defence, conceding 1.89 goals a game on average,
It has not blanked the opposition since a 0-0 draw at Colorado on Sept. 25, 2021 — a run of 28 straight games without a clean sheet, which ties the fourth-longest regular season streak in league history (set by the Whitecaps in 2018-19 and the now-defunct Miami Fusion in 1998-99).
The Fire were coming off back-to-back losses to Columbus.
Chicago was missing Argentine midfielder Gaston Gimenez, one of its designated players, and Venezuelan defender Miguel Navarro through suspension. Defender Wyatt Omsberg was out with a foot injury.
Toronto, which was also without injured midfielder Noble Okello, visits CF Montreal on Saturday.
With files from The Associated Press