Koevermans keys TFC to win over Rapids

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:18 AM ET

TORONTO - Beset by many bad breaks during a tough Major League Soccer season, good fortune was finally with Toronto FC in a 2-1 victory over defending champion Colorado on Saturday afternoon at sparsely populated BMO Field.

Designated player Danny Koevermans scored a brace for the Reds — his fifth and sixth goals in seven games, by far the best strike rate in team history — and Toronto defenders knocked a pair of would-be goals off of the line in the second half.

“Sometimes you get your own luck. In the past, a lot of games we played and we didn’t have that luck and today was a day that we owned that luck,” head coach Aron Winter said.

Toronto has now defeated East-leading Columbus and MLS Cup holders Colorado in consecutive matches.

The Reds, now 6-12-12, outplayed the Rapids in the first half despite a 2-0 shots on goal edge for the visitors, but had nothing to show for it in front of an announced crowd of 20,318 that was likely about 5,000 people short of that number.

TFC finally broke through in the 53rd minute when Koevermans converted a pretty cross from Ashtone Morgan.

Morgan, normally strictly a defender, was allowed to roam all game, while still assisting captain Torsten Frings, who dropped back.

Morgan, who struggled along with the rest of the Richard Eckersley-less backline in a 4-0 thrashing in Mexico earlier in the week, was happy to display more of his talents.

“Yeah, that’s my game, I’m an attacking back,” the Toronto native said.

“Mexico, it kind of lit a fire under me. A 4-0 loss anywhere, I know they’re a good side, but you have to play for your pride and they took that away from us.”

Koevermans struck again in the 60th minute, diving to head in a picture-perfect cross off the foot of Nick Soolsma.

Koevermans had scored his previous four goals on the road and was pleased as well.

“It felt so good to score home goals, I was waiting for that one,” Koevermans said.

“This is why you play soccer. Two great crosses and two good finishes, as easy as that.”

Morgan made a great block in the box, but Toronto’s luck turned, when the ball eventually found its way to Colorado striker Sanna Nyassi, who fired one into the top corner behind Milos Kocic in the 69th minute.

However, Morgan later knocked a ball off of the goal line and TFC got its biggest break in the 90th minute when Drew Moore beat Kocic but not Eckersley, who saved another one off of the goal line, deflecting it right to the sprawled out Kocic.

Toronto has now won six-of-10 all-time meetings with the Rapids.

Winter curiously went with his top lineup.

It was an odd move in that the team has to go undefeated in its final four games and have seven teams go completely into the tank in order to make the MLS playoffs.

The team hosts Panamanian side Tauro on Tuesday in a crucial CONCACAF Champions League matchup. TFC remains very much alive in that competition, but will have many tired bodies on the pitch.

By way of explanation, midfielder Julian de Guzman said the team is out to send a message to its fans each time out and isn’t favouring one competition over the other.

“We’re showing a lot of signs of maturity with the club. We’re getting the point now and a better understanding of what it takes to have a playoffs, a winning team,” De Guzman said.

“These are all important games … guys are gelling really well together as a team.

“Our goal this season is to finish Champions League and also the MLS season on a high note with as many wins as possible, especially at home. We’re not looking back, we’re looking forward”.


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