TFC's home unbeaten streak ends

Toronto FC's Joseph Nane, left and Nana Attakora react after scoring an own goal during the first...

Toronto FC's Joseph Nane, left and Nana Attakora react after scoring an own goal during the first half of their MLS soccer game against the New York Red Bulls in Toronto August 21, 2010. (REUTERS/ Mike Cassese)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:06 PM ET

The streak is over. A recurrence of TFCs troubling inability to finish resulted in the end of the clubs 17-game MLS unbeaten run at BMO field in the form of a humbling 4-1 defeat to the New York Red Bulls.

The impressive string of home success which included 10 games this season (six wins, four draws) could well have continued in front of a record crowd of 22,108 had the team managed to bury more than one of its many chances, leaving head coach Preki both angry and frustrated.

I dont think one guy on the field was sharp, not one, from the first moment, Preki said.

We didnt work hard enough up front today to create our bounces ... there were some quality balls there, (but) we were not brave in the box.

With better finishing, perhaps such as the precision New York showed, the Reds could well have been up 2-0 at the half rather than trailing by the same margin.

I thought we had plenty of chances, but we let New York off the hook today, the coach said.

With injured strikers Chad Barrett and Maicon Santos either on the bench or out entirely, the squad was minus a sizable chunk of offence from the get-go.

But Toronto still managed a 9-7 shots (3-2 on goal) advantage in the opening 45 and had enough talent on hand to beat keeper Bouna Coundoul.

Designated player Mista has shown flashes of brilliance and managed TFCs best effort of the first half, a strong individual effort that concluded with a hard shot being turned aside by the left hand of Coundoul.

Nick LaBrocca later ringed shots off the crossbar, and Coundouls fingers.

The comedy of offensive errors continued, when Toronto continued to pour it on when both OBrian White and captain Dwayne De Rosario had shots blocked by defenders Tim Ream and Carlos Mendes.

Though members of the team opined in the locker room that those hit posts and defenders were signs that it just wasnt TFCs day, Nana Attakora realized the bottom line.

Again, we dont take our chances and it comes back to bite us, Attakora said.

The Red Bulls made TFC pay for not capitalizing in the 36th minute, when Rafa Marquez unleashed a howitzer that Stefan Frei had no chance to stop.

The wheels fell off from there when Attakora and Nane Joseph combined for an own-goal.

De Rosario finally ended a scoring slump that dated back to May 29th, when White sent him in for a low shot that found daylight through Coundoul in the 49th minute.

But once again, intense Toronto pressure proved meaningless. Terrible long passes missed their marks, balls could not be controlled and any chance of a rally petered out before a crucial incident.

In the 60th minute, the usually rock-solid Attakora, diving desperately for a ball heading towards Frei, stuck his arms out, making contact for a clear penalty, though Attakora disputed the necessity of a red card and ejection.

Juan Pablo Angels seventh goal against TFC followed on a penalty kick

Ex-Red Carl Robinson made it 4-1 with a header in the 78th minute off a ball that Frei could not control.

Two other great chances late in the second half were turned away by a blocked shot and the hand of Coundoul.

Everything that could have gone wrong seemed to for the Reds. Besides the finishing woes and the own goal, there was Barrett tweaking his hamstring injury, Attakora getting suspended for next Saturdays important match in Salt Lake City and the uninspiring play of Mista.

The home streak was a good run, but if a new one is to commence, TFC must start finding the back of the goal with more precision.

Because scoring one or less in seven straight, as the club did in MLS action earlier this season is not the type of streak to replace this one with.

ryan.wolstat@sunmedia.ca


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