Toland revels in goal, unbeaten run

Photo: Alex Beilman

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FC Buffalo midfielder Kieran Toland opened the scoring in a 3-0 win over AFC Cleveland Friday night at Robert E. Rich All High Stadium. The goal has the Scottish international feeling good about his team’s offensive attack and the squad’s playoff hopes going forward.

“It’s everything that we’ve been working for. We’ve been working hard in practice, we’ve been playing well recently,” Toland said. “It’s been trying to get the goals. We win 1-nil, we win 1-nil, we get beat 2-1. It’s just been trying to get the goals and we know it would pay off eventually.”

Toland’s goal was a well-taken strike from 10 yards out on the left side of the box off a low cross from Romario Guscott. The play was a result of an excellent through ball from Ian McGrath, who played it up the left flank to a streaking Guscott.

“Romario had done absolutely excellent down the sideline. Great ball back, and I just hit as hard as I could. Just smashed it home,” Toland said. “I thought I just had to hit as hard as I can, hit it low. The keeper had no chance.”

The goal song played after Toland’s opening strike had a particular meaning for the midfielder as well.

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“The last away trip, we had to choose different songs to play on the bus. I chose ‘Doctor Jones’ by Aqua. For those who don’t know, that’s who sings ‘Barbie Girl.’ There’s been a little bit of banter about that. I appreciate them playing it.”

The victory, also highlighted by second half goals from Kendell McFayden and Regan Steele, means the Blitzers move into second place in the table, with an opportunity to retain that position with a win Sunday at Rochester RiverDogZ FC.

Credit: Dan & Margaret | Hickling Images Do not use without express written permission of FC Buffalo
Credit: Dan & Margaret | Hickling Images

“It makes us look good against other team; Us keeping a clean sheet and banging in three goals. We’ve got to continue on and beat Rochester. We’re taking it one game at time,” Toland said. “I’m sure we can go very far.”

The win marks the second straight match where the Blitzers bagged three goals. They are now undefeated in their last four games, with a record of 4W-1D. Toland feels confident in their ability to continue scoring and continue their strong form.

“It’s about time. It’s about time I scored myself. [Head coach Brendan] Murphy said to shoot as much as we can. He says he sees it every week in training, scoring goals, so he just wants us to do it during the game.”

The squad’s next match against Rochester RiverDogz FC will kick of Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. from Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium in Brockport