Lady Luck no fan of TFC

BILL LANKHOF, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 4:18 PM ET

There's something about BMO Field that brings out the worst in Toronto FC. It couldn't get lucky in the place if someone hung a red light over the dressing room door.

The Reds had lots of opportunities again yesterday, holding a wide territorial advantage over the Chicago Fire. TFC hit crossbars, Chad Barrett spent so much time in the goal area the Fire could have charged him rent. The Reds shot high, they shot wide, they had shots deflect into the stands. And, when they weren't hitting air, they were hitting Chicago goalie Jon Busch.

When it was done, the Fire had a 2-0 win and Toronto had another unproductive offensive show. On the road this team averages more than two goals a game. At home, it has just four goals in six league games and yesterday that futility saw a six-game unbeaten string brought to a screeching halt.

A lot of that screeching came in the second half -- a nightmarish 30 seconds -- which summed up the Reds, frustrations and the game's outcome.

The Fire's Wilman Conde hit a ball that seemed to deflect off teammate Logan Pause's hand in the penalty area. It was reminiscent of two calls earlier this year against Marvel Wynne that cost the Reds a loss and tie.

"This was the same thing -- Logan handled the ball in the box. It wasn't on purpose. The ball just came up and hit his hand and we don't get the call. It's ironic because if that was us, and our hand, it would've been called," Barrett said.

The Reds were livid. The fans didn't even have a chance to finish booing the non-call when Chris Rolfe snuck between Marco Velez and Adrian Serioux, then flicked a pass from Cuauhtemoc Blanco past goalie Stefan Frei.

"When they come right back down and score, it does make you feel like 'are we ever going to get a call?' " Barrett said.

It was a comedy of errors and misfortune. Except nobody in red was laughing.

"We're disappointed with the goal we gave away. Arguing or not, we should've done better. The lad ran between the two centre halfs," coach Chris Cummins said.

Just after the goal, Amado Guevara rifled a shot into Busch's arms. Dwayne De Rosario received a ball inside the penalty area but slipped and fell. Busch snapped a high ball near the post away from Barrett's attempted header. Guevara knocked a ball off the crossbar.

"Even at 1-nil, I thought we might get something out of the game. We were pushing with Amado, Pablo (Vitti) and Chad. If one of those go in," Cummins said. "It's a different game."

Chicago put it away in the 81st minute when Brian McBride pushed a ball over the goal line after Frei had made a nice diving stop.

"We had chances again today. I'm not panicking," Cummins said.

Nana Attakora-Gyan played a steady first half, replacing the injured Marvel Wynne at the backside before giving way to Kevin Harmes.

"He took a knock, slight concussion. We asked him at half time: 'How you feeling?' Cummins said. "And he called me J.C. (referring to former coach John Carver) -- so we thought we'd better get him off."

BILL.LANKHOF@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos