TFC still can't be beat at home

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:26 PM ET

BMO Field continues to be a stronghold for Toronto FC.

The MLS club ran its unbeaten streak there to 10 games (six wins, four draws) by defeating Chivas USA 2-1 in a game that was more one-sided than the final score indicated.

There were some tense moments late, but TFC was clearly the better side and won behind goals from Chad Barrett and Nana Attakora and strong play by keeper Stefan Frei.

The lone strike by Chivas came off a penalty kick on a blown hand ball call.

The alarm clock went off late, but once it did, TFC took control, giving head coach Preki a win against his former team, not that aspect of the victory seemed to matter much to him.

“It feels good to get three points. That’s all I care about right now,” Preki said.

“Old team, new team, doesn’t matter to me, we’re looking for three points.”

Early on, TFC seemed to be ready to mail it in, something Preki and Frei feared might happen after a gruelling week.

The team looked disorganized and lethargic for the first 12 minutes of the contest. Chivas pressured, cutting huge swaths in the defence and Frei bailed his side out with a great diving save on striker Justin Braun.

After that, however, a switch appeared to come on as TFC caught its bearings and began to impress offensively.

After steady TFC pressure, Nana Attakora opened the scoring in the 21st minute, heading in a perfect throw-in by Dan Gargan.

“Finally,” said Attakora of his second career goal.

“We’re one of the worst teams in the league on set plays so to finally get one was a relief.”

The Reds struck again in the 33rd minute. Jacob Peterson flubbed a kick from just outside the box, Maicon Santos — playing against the team that gave up on him — was able to accidentally get it to Barrett, who drove a shot past goalie Dan Kennedy. Kennedy protested that Barrett was offside, but the close play stood and TFC had two goals for the second game in a row. Before this run, the squad had not notched more than one goal since May 29th.

The shots were 9-4 (6-2 on target) for Toronto in the opening 45 minutes.

The teams traded good chances in the second half without denting the scoreboard, until Chivas got lucky in the 66th minute. Toronto defender Adrian Cann was called for a questionable handball and Giancarlo Maldonado connected on the penalty past a helpless Frei.

That gave Chivas the nerve to press the issue, and the second-half shots were 10-5 for the visitors and 14 apiece overall (with a 10-7 shots on goal edge for TFC).

The game went right to the wire. Frei darted out of his net to knock a ball — heading for a threatening Paulo Nagamura — out of bounds in the 89th minute and TFC shut down two corners in the final minute to come away with the deserved result.

ryan.wolstat@sunmedia.ca


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