TFC sees yellow

The Toronto FC vs D.C United at the BMO field in Toronto. Forward #10 Alecko Eskandarian score his...

The Toronto FC vs D.C United at the BMO field in Toronto. Forward #10 Alecko Eskandarian score his first goal of the season and the only goal of the night.Toronto lost 1-2.(Toronto Sun/Greg Henkenhaf)

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

The refrain 'Holy Toledo!' emanated from the Toronto FC bench and 20,183 at BMO Field yesterday as referee Baldomero Toledo made himself prominent in a 2-1 loss to D.C. United, breaking the home side's two-game win streak.

Toronto, playing its third game in a week against a well-rested opponent, likely was prone to taking some fouls before the match began. But Toledo called a tight game with four of six yellow cards against FC, with a big dagger in the 79th minute, awarding a penalty kick after incidental contact by FC defender Marvell Wynne leading to a suspicious fall by Luciano Emilio.

Jaime Moreno buried the gift for the winner, tying Jason Kreis for the Major League Soccer record of 108 goals. United (2-3-1), passed TFC (2-5) at the back of the Eastern Conference pack.

"I don't want to get into trouble," Toronto coach Mo Johnston said when asked to assess the officiating. "You tell me (if Wynne was guilty). There were a lot of yellow cards and I think they spoiled the game."

Wynne and Toronto netminder Greg Sutton were convinced Toledo erred.

"It was a 50-50 challenge," Sutton said. "It looked like Marvell got a piece of the ball. He's quicker than a lot of players and I think he got there so fast it surprised the ref."

The early fouls were a tip-off to FC.

"We came in at half time and talked about how (Toledo) was card-happy and to be careful," Wynne said. "I was trying to cut off the pass and he fell."

A ragged first half largely consisted of Toronto players either waving their hands in anguish at mates' passes that went into thin air or gesturing at Toledo.

Midfielder Andy Welsh had communication problems throughout the first half as FC tried to build an attack down its left side.

The first Toronto goal came on a broken play in the 44th minute, a shot by Maurice Edu that hit Alecko Eskandarian and kept bouncing until the latter righted himself, found the ball at his feet with no one around and drove in his first of the season. Eskandarian used to play for D.C.

"Facing your old club, you want to do well, but you have to credit them for persevering," he said.

"I was really licking my chops when the ball came because you don't usually have that kind of time to shoot.

"But I'd rather have three points and the win than the goal."

D.C. tied it in the 52nd minute with a lucky break of its own, a free kick by Christian Gomez that Kevin Goldthwaite tried to head wide, but knocked past a shocked Sutton, the first own goal against the franchise.

"So many of those kind of deflections have gone against us already," Sutton said.

The crowd made life hard on the visitors. When Gomez made the mistake of pausing during a corner kick in the first half he quickly was tangled in streamers.

Johnston said his team looked as though it was running "in quicksand" at times.

That could mean a number of raw FC players will be in the lineup Wednesday when Benfica of Portugal is in for a friendly.


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