TFC protect home turf

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

BMO Field is fast becoming a wasteland for visiting MLS clubs.

A 1-0 victory over D.C. United last night in front of 19,791 frigid, but spirited supporters extended TFC's unbeaten streak at BMO Field to seven games.

The win also extended the 4-2-2 Reds' unbeaten streak this season to six games. Even more impressive, Toronto has just allowed one goal in its past five. The win also avenged a 4-1 loss to D.C. United on April 5 at RFK Stadium.

Fan favourite Danny Dichio provided the spark in more ways than one for TFC, scoring in the seventh minute, while also coming up with a key block early in the second half and sparking a minor melee between the two sides late in the contest.

"That's Danny's style," TFC head coach John Carver said of Dichio's play. "And you wouldn't want to change the way he plays. He's not a nasty player, but he does (play tough)."

Neither side produced many good scoring chances, particularly in the first half, but showing great strength and determination, the bruising Dichio took advantage of a defensive blunder by D.C. defender Devon McTavish to the right of United keeper Zach Wells. Dichio out-fought McTavish for the ball as the United defender attempted to play it back to Wells, and then, while being pulled down to the BMO Field turf by McTavish, tipped it to the far corner past Wells.

"It was an old-fashioned centre-forward's goal for me," Carver said. "I was delighted for Danny because he has worked ever-so-hard recently and it shows you that even if you are getting on in the game, you can still go hard and get your just rewards, and he got that (last night)."

"I enjoy the physical battle and I try to bring it to the team," Dichio said. "I try to put my stamp on the game as much as possible. Sometimes it works, sometimes referees don't like it. But the referee (Alex Prus) let me play my game (last night), let the defender play his game and I think it went swimmingly."

D.C. United's best chance came early in the second half when Brazilian midfielder Fred headed a pass right at Toronto keeper Greg Sutton, who made the initial save, and then Dichio made a nice block on the Fred rebound. Dichio felt relief more than anything for his goal, as it represented only his second of the season.

"Listen, I've been in this game since I was nine years old and I know that there's games where I'll play fantastically well and get many chances and not finish them, and there will be games like (last night) when I'll get one or two chances and they will go in. That's football," said Dichio, who is playing through a groin injury.

The only negative slant on last night's game for TFC came in the 64th minute when midfielder Laurent Robert left the game because of a sore knee.

D.C. United pressed the action for most of the second half, but couldn't mount any real dangerous attacks, save for the two shots by Fred. Its frustration boiled over with about 10 minutes to play, when both sides congregated in front of keeper Wells, with some pushing and shoving ensuing.

Carver confirmed after the match that TFC is interested in acquiring striker Shola Ameobi, who is on loan to Stoke City from Newcastle United.

"I know Shola very well, he's a young player I had at Newcastle," Carver said. "If we could get Shola to this football club I'd be delighted. But we have to bear in mind that a few seasons ago ... somebody nearly paid ($11.65 million) for him, and that's an awful lot of money. But I know him very well. And I knew for a fact that he loves the American style (of life), he loves the basketball, he loves the hockey, he loves the baseball and you never know, he might be looking for a lifestyle change. But to be honest, I think he has a big future back in England, but you never know."

The 26-year-old has scored 28 goals for Newcastle in 168 appearances but did not score for Stoke in six games. According to reports, TFC also is interested in acquiring winger Darren Huckerby, who will not return to Norwich City next season.


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