Toronto FC, FC Cincinnati open season with 0-0 draw


FC Cincinnati vs. Toronto FC - Game Highlights

Watch the Game Highlights from FC Cincinnati vs. Toronto FC, 02/25/2024

Sean Johnson made seven saves and Toronto FC kept their first clean sheet in nine months in a 0-0 draw at defending Supporters' Shield holders FC Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon in both teams' season opener.

Under new coach John Herdman, Toronto was outshot 17-8 overall and 7-2 in efforts on target but limited Cincinnati to only a couple clear-cut opportunities.

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After conceding an Eastern Conference-worst 59 goals last season while finishing with the league's worst record, Toronto began the new season by snapping a streak of 18 consecutive MLS league games conceding a goal. That dated back to a 0-0 home draw against the Chicago Fire on May 31.

With the draw, the Reds are only one road victory away from matching their entire points total from their travels last season.

Cincinnati was held scoreless for the first time since Sept. 2. Roman Celentano made two saves for Cincinnati.

The hosts may have been battling some fatigue after playing twice in the space of 72 hours, following a 2-0 victory at Cavalier FC of Jamaica in their opening match of the CONCACAF Champions Cup on Thursday night.

Toronto thought it had a dream start when Richie Laryea drew an apparent penalty after a foul by Obinna Nwobodo. But after video review, referee Jonathan Weiner corrected the decision to award the free kick just outside the box.

Cincinnati's Corey Baird had a well-struck half volley denied by Johnson in the 15th minute, and in the 33rd minute Johnson did well to hold Luca Orellano's volley of Luciano Acosta's corner kick.

Then, Toronto's Lorenzo Insigne had a promising look in first-half stoppage time blocked by defender Kipp Keller into his own player, who was in an offside position.

Keller headed away another promising right-footed effort from Federico Bernardeschi early in the second half.

Cincinnati's best chances to take the lead came shortly after, when Johnson saved efforts from Sergio Santos from inside the box in the 51st minute and from Acosta in the 58th.