TFC ends victory drought

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:22 PM ET

TORONTO - Toronto FC got revenge on the Vancouver Whitecaps for a season-opening 4-2 defeat, snapping a nine-game winless skid with a 1-0 victory at BMO Field on Wednesday night.

Nick Soolsma’s 54th-minute penalty was enough as the Reds tasted victory for the first time since May 7 and just the third time all season.

Both sides rested key players ahead of Saturday’s rematch, which will decide the Canadian Championship.

Head coach Aron Winter’s group was a little more aggressive than usual offensively, shooting the ball in and chasing far more often than has been seen so far this season, but neither team could manage a shot on goal in a quiet first half.

Things picked up from there with Vancouver threatening early. Bolstered by the subbing in of leading scorer Eric Hassli, the Whitecaps got a couple of decent looks, but Stefan Frei made a fine save of an Omar Salgado attempt in the 49th minute.

That close call seemed to rally the Reds, who took over and deserved the victory.

In the 52nd minute, Soolsma was taken down by Whitecaps defender Greg Janicki in the box.

From there, Soolsma managed to score the first goal of his MLS career — twice — after his initial penalty kick was waved off because Joao Plata ran in too far, distracting keeper Jay Nolly. Unfazed, Soolsma knocked in another to open the scoring.

Later, Javier Martina almost converted a Plata pass. Plata was brilliant in the second half and defender Danleigh Borman was particularly strong for the Reds throughout.

Plata left in stoppage time to a standing ovation from the crowd of 19,816.

TFC cut down on the defensive errors that plagued them in Saturday’s 3-1 road loss to Real Salt Lake, but Salgado was still left open on a couple of occasions.

Before the game Winter got a good laugh out of rumours that he would be moved upstairs and replaced as head coach by his assistant, Bob de Klerk.

“What’s going to happen with Aron? All those things are funny,” Winter said prior to introducing designated players Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans.

The team seemed puzzled by the rumours and said there was nothing to them.

What’s next for the Reds? Winter said he is still looking to add “a leader” to his backline. The injury to Adrian Cann has left the team short there.

Winter said after adding internationals Frings and Koevermans, he expected his defensive reinforcement to be a North American.


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