TFC recorded a 3-1 road win over San Jose with a Pablo Vitti strike sandwiched by Chad Barrett's brace.The San Jose Earthquakes continue to prop up the Western Conference after a superior Toronto FC outfit comprehensively outplayed them. Fortified by the return of Marvell Wynne from Confederations Cup duty, TFC opted to persist with the impressive Nana Attakora and push Jim Brennan into a midfield role. The result was never in doubt despite the visitors' well-documented away day hoodoo.
Toronto FC went ahead in the fifth minute after Dwayne De Rosario flicked the ball over his head more in hope than with purpose and found an onrushing Chad Barrett on hand to place a side footed volley past Joe Canon. It wasn't the easiest of chances, but Barrett made it look simple.
The visitors' attacking trio -- De Rosario, Barrett and Pablo Vitti -- were all on fire. De Rosario set Barrett free down the right, but his effort went wide. A little later, he managed to repeat the trick, this time releasing Vitti. However, Amado Guevara hoofed the Argentines cut-back over the bar inside the area.
While TFC controlled the game for the majority of the first half, San Jose managed to send out a warning shot through Simon Elliott that was spectacularly saved by a diving Stefan Frei. This followed a dangerous move involving Darren Huckerby and Pablo Campos.
TFC failed to heed that warning and paid for it in the 32nd minute when the Earthquakes equalized through Huckerby after great hold up play from Campos that kept three defenders at bay inside the area following a long ball by Arturo Alvarez. Campos showed composure and presence of mind to pick out Huckerby, who made no mistake with a clinical left footed finish from close range.
Campos then evaded Nick Garcia to go one-on-one with Frei. He looked odds-on to score, but Frei kept his frame up and denied San Jose the lead going into the locker room at half time.
San Jose was once again overwhelmed by a hard working visiting side after the break, as the Reds continued their dominance and deservedly took a 2-1 lead via an opportunistic piece of marksmanship from Vitti. Barrett lobbed an unconvincing ball into the San Jose box. With the defense hesitant, Nana Attakora climbed highest to direct the ball towards goal. Vitti positioned himself superbly to nod the ball past Canon.
Cornell Glen replaced Campos and threatened to change the course of the game with pace and trickery, however, TFC's defense soon had his number. Guevara pounced on an Elliott mistake and unleashed a ferocious shot that had Canon scrambling, but was slightly off target.
Toronto were not to be denied much longer. This time a hopeful long ball by De Rosario resulted in another Barrett goal. The ball was over-hit and Aaron Pitchkolan looked favorite to deal with it. However, he appeared to pull his groin muscle while sprinting and stumbled to the ground while the opportunistic Barrett skipped past him, then exorcised his one-on-one demons by easing past Joe Canon to slot the ball into an empty net. The strike gave TFC a comfortable 3-1 lead in the 69th minute.
It took two breathtaking saves from Joe Canon to keep the score respectable for San Jose. The first was described by opposing coach Chris Cummins as the "save of the week" to deny Guevara. Vitti's close control inside the penalty area allowed him to pick out Guevara a few yards from the net. The Honduran's point-blank shot was hit with quite some venom, but Canon somehow managed to block the attempt. With the final whistle approaching, Canon produced another top draw save by tipping over a dipping Vitti effort.
The two week break has rejuvenated TFC and with the impressive Ali Gerba still to hook up with his new club following his exploits in the ongoing Gold Cup, Toronto look set to continue what Cummins keeps saying is "going to be a season of firsts."
San Jose prop up the Western Conference and would be well advised to build towards next season. Languishing at the wrong end of the table, it will take a miracle to gain them access to the playoffs this season.
Talha Zaheer is Goal.com's Toronto correspondent
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