TORONTO, Canada—Both Major League Soccer clubs entered this match desperate for a win. The Reds were 1-3-1 in their last five and New York came into this match losing their last five while sitting in last place in the Eastern Conference. TFC held serve at home, however, winning 2-1.
Toronto started the match in an uncustomary 3-4-3 formation, hoping to
take it hard to the Red Bulls which paid off very early.
It seemed to pay off, as Toronto was awarded a penalty in the 3rd minute after a handball by
New York midfielder Albert Celades.
Amado Guevara lined up to take
it, yet New York goalkeeper Danny Cepero made the save, but then TFC's Sam Cronin smashed the rebound
home, 1-0 Toronto.
“Yeah, it was good, felt great,” commented the goal-scorer on his first MLS goal.
After a little past quarter of an hour, Toronto defender Adrian Serioux
sprung Kevin Harmse on a run down the left side and he made his way
into the Red Bulls box with a shot on goal, but Cepero made another save.
Shortly after the half hour, Toronto had an another opportunity to
increase their lead as Guevara lobbed in a free-kick, finding the head
of Danny Dichio, but Cepero made a wonderful acrobatic save to tip the
ball the over the bar.
In the 36th minute, Juan Pablo Angel looked to equalize as he swept past
Garcia along the right side and took a hard shot on goal, but TFC goalkeeper Stefen Frei
batted the ball out.
Celades had another opportunity to equalize for the Red Bulls as he
sliced through the Toronto defense but Serioux recovered well and
deflected his shot wide by a toe’s length.
Toronto extended their lead two minutes before the half as Pablo Vitti
streaked in on the New York goal with a lovely pass by Guevara, but
his shot was saved by Cepero and Dichio followed up the rebound
placing it into the open goal, 2-0 at the half.
“We’ve dug in, trying to pull out a win,” said Toronto coach Chris Cummins.
New York came out with purpose in the second forty-five, putting the
Reds on edge.
In the 52nd minute, Serioux recklessly lost the ball to Nick Zimmerman, setting
in motion a flurry of three shots in succession, but Toronto managed
to fend off the attack.
However, two minutes later New York cut the lead in half as Celades
made a lovely move around Toronto’s defense and struck the ball into
the short corner off Frei’s hand, 2-1.
“It was important to score early in the half to keep us in the game,”
said the goal-scorer.
Toronto came right back with an opportunity to regain a two-goal lead
as Dichio went up for yet another header, but it missed the far post.
“I think we need to put more in the back of the net, me included” he
said of the missed opportunity.
As the half progressed, Toronto regained control over the match.
made the first substitution in the 64th entering defender Marco Velez
for Amado Guevara, placing him in the right back position and pushing
Cronin into central midfield changing to a 4-4-2 formation.
“I was looking to shore up more in the middle with putting Sam in the
middle there,” commented coach Cummins in the tactical change.
Harmse, who had a stellar match, had a lovely opportunity to increase
the lead from a little over 20 yards out, shortly after the
substitution as he strode in front of New York’s large box and struck
a hard left-footed shot, which was saved by Cepero.
Off the ensuing
corner Serioux had a go from 30 yards out and his shot was also pushed
over the bar by the Red Bulls’ goalkeeper.
Despite New York’s late push to equalize, Toronto held on for the
Newly acquired veteran defender Nick Garcia looked very
comfortable in the Toronto back line. He said, “I think I brought my
personality” and team captain Carl Robinson said, “Nicky was great.
He brings a solid presence.”
Toronto move to 19 points on the season and fourth in the east
improving their record to 5-5-4 while New York remain at nine points
with a 2-10-3 record.
Rashed Abuodeh is a contributor to Goal.com
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