Atlanta United – Toronto FC: Despite Being Dominated By Atlanta, Toronto Booked Their Place In The MLS Cup Final (1-2)
Dominating tactically and technically, Atlanta United massively outshot Toronto. Still, with two shots from distance Toronto managed to outscore Atlanta and book their place in the MLS Cup final.
Tactical analysis and match report by Simon Piotr.
The biggest game of the Eastern Conference, a one-game winner-takes-it-all playoff. Going into the game there seemed a clear hierarchy, with Atlanta coming in second in the regular season, six points behind leaders New York City FC, and Toronto making the play-offs after finishing in fourth place. In the regular season, Atlanta United - Toronto FC had finished in a comfortable 2-0 home win.
Manager Frank de Boer organized the hosts in a clear 4-4-1-1 system with the Martinezes upfront. Gonzalo Martinez played as second striker / number ten behind Josef Martinez as center forward.
Toronto came to the Atlanta Mercedes-Benz Stadium in a 4-3-3 shape with the same team that had defeated New York City FC in a precious conference semi-final away win to book their place in this Conference Final.
Atlanta take an early lead
Toronto had prepared a medium-high block A medium block refers to a team that retreats in their own half out of possession, generally only disrupting their opponents some way into their own half. A high block refers to a team that regularly leaves their own half out of possession, to disrupt their opponents far into the attacking half. A medium-high block is well… in between these two variants. to press Atlanta at the beginning of the game. Even though Atlanta’s game plan made them play more through . . .