He celebrated in the moments after his goal — his fourth of the season in MLS play, a career high for the 23-year-old — but in the immediate aftermath of the game, Hamilton’s mood changed.
“It feels good but I don’t even know what to say,” Hamilton responded when asked by TSN’s Kristian Jack about how it felt to score the late equalizer.
Sporting took the lead twice on the night through penalties, the first earned by Gerso Fernandes and the second by Felipe Gutierrez, who scored both spot kicks. With manager Greg Vanney yelling about the calls on the sideline during the game, Hamilton also felt his side was unfortunate to hear the referee’s whistle twice.
“The first penalty, [Gerso is] falling back already, his momentum’s carrying him down. How can that be a foul? Any faint touch, he’s just going to fall over,” Hamilton continued.
TFC are still aiming to approach the heights of their historic 2017 season, when they earned a domestic treble. Friday’s draw took Toronto above the playoff line in the Eastern Conference, and after missing the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs altogether in 2018, they can’t take a playoff berth for granted this season.
“It’s just frustrating, we’re working our butts off out here to get results and this is what we’re against,” he explained. “I just don’t know what to say. Obviously I’m happy to score but we need three points.”
Through 15 regular-season games this season, TFC have a 5-6-4 record with 19 points. Through the same number of games last year, they had a 4-8-3 record, for 15 points. But Hamilton’s comments seemed to illustrate a level of pressure on TFC, as their winless run is now at seven games.
“I just said [postgame to the referee] that the guy spent three minutes on the ground, six substitutions were made and we get, what, five minutes added time? It just doesn’t add up, you know? It’s frustrating.”
Hamilton’s four goals take him up to second on the team, behind only Alejandro Pozuelo and Jozy Altidore, and the Homegrown striker admitted getting the late goal was a personal boost, even if the outcome wasn’t what the team wanted.
“I had a little bit of a rough month last month with the tough schedule, so just to get my confidence back, working hard and leaving it all on the field today,” Hamilton said. “So I’m happy to score but it’s a frustrating game for us.”