Another freakish Hassli finish thwarts TFC ambitionsMay 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2012 | 1 Comment
Eric Hassli is an odd sort of striker. He never scores goals with his head, he does not poach goals in the manner of a Gary Lineker, he does not time his runs well at all. It really is a wonder that he manages to score goals at all. Hassli specializes in what can be called freak goals, crazy shots that really aren’t supposed to go in but do.
Coach Martin Rennie did not make the same mistakes as he did with squad selection as he did the other night, but he did not start our strongest team. Key player Gershon Koffie did not play at all, and Etienne Barbara did not fare well at all in his first start in a Whitecaps jersey. Barbara was left all alone up front and was easy pickings for Toronto’s ruthless defenders.
I thought Barbara and Camilo would work wonders together, but Camilo had a strangely quiet night, although he did produce some early weak shots on goal. Camilo seemed strangely unmotivated and had an off night, as did the whole team.
A strong start for the Whitecaps soon fizzled out as the match gradually became Toronto’s. When TFC scored two thirds the way through, it was no surprise, and the better team was winning. There were only 8000 Whitecaps fans there, and TFC seemed to grow more confident as the night went on. If the truth is told, the Whitecaps played terribly.
Rennie brought Hassli and Chiumiento on to try to save the night, and it worked. The tying goal came in injury time from a free kick on the left wing at centre pitch. Rochat played a quick pass to Chiumiento, lost his lazy marker Soolsma, got the ball back and floated a perfect cross for Hassli to volley in from the opposite corner of the penalty area. Hassli hit the ball so hard it was too fast for the naked eye to see. I saw the ball hit his foot, and then the net bulged and the ball suddenly reappeared in the back of Toronto’s net. Incredible.
While I love Hassli’s occasional wonder strikes, I would prefer it if he could score run of the mill goals in greater numbers!
It is back to TO to play the second leg of the Canadian Championship final at a disadvantage because TFC have an away goal. The Whitecaps will have to go there and score goals. Let’s hope the Whitecaps can score a couple of tap-ins. Waiting around for these freak goals is too hard on my nerves.