Ten man Seattle Sounders FC managed to break Toronto FC supporters' hearts down by the shores of Lake Ontario Saturday night.Striker Fredy Montero’s 90th minute free kick goal secured a 1-0 victory for Seattle over Toronto FC at BMO Field. The Sounders played most of the second half with 10 men thanks to a second yellow card to defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado in the 49th minute. Despite Toronto carrying the play with the extra man, the Reds only really managed one legitimate scoring chance.
Montero made them pay with a perfectly-placed dead-ball strike that eluded Toronto keeper Stefan Frei.
Toronto is now winless in its last eight matches despite showing some positive signs over the past few outings. An abdominal injury Gordon sustained on Wednesday in New England stripped the team of its offensive catalyst. The Sounders, on the other hand, are now undefeated in their last four and have only lost once in the past eight.
As much as the result was undeserved for Toronto, the Sounders will take what they will believe is a hard-earned three points due largely to coach Sigi Schmid’s tactics to shut down Toronto after Seattle went down a man.
Toronto carried the run of play in the first half after Seattle threatened early on a low shot across the face of Frei’s goal from forward Mike Fucito. Later in the half, Toronto’s leading scorer this year, forward Maicon Santos flicked a dangerous looking header to the top corner but Keller made it look easy in coming across to gather it in. The Reds' best chance of the half may have been midfielder Nathan Sturgis’ curling free kick a couple of minutes before the break that scraped across the top netting of Seattle’s goal.
Seattle started out the second half in promising fashion but before long was forced to change tactics as Hurtado was escorted from the match on a clumsy foul on Yourassowsky. From there Toronto struggled to break through the Sounders.
TFC did have one sparkling scoring chance but substitute Javier Martina found the woodwork when it looked easier to find the netting and winger Joao Plata put the rebound wide from six yards out.
After that the chances were few and far between for both clubs until late in the match when against the run of play, Seattle earned a free kick just outside the Toronto area on a questionable call against defender Doneil Henry. Montero made it count with a strike that curled around the Toronto wall and off Frei’s finger tips before settling in the back of the net.
Disconsolate Toronto FC manager Aron Winter summed things up by saying, "It's incredible that we lost a game that we deserved to win. We played very well and in the end we gave it away."
Toronto will try to move on from the disappointment with its next match a week from now at Real Salt Lake. The Sounders have a Thursday home date with the New York Red Bulls.
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