Gordon Goal Gifts Reds A Draw
TORONTO — Amid the buzz surrounding Friday’s blockbuster trade that sent Dwayne De Rosario to New York, Toronto FC managed to earn a 1-1 draw against a spirited Chivas USA side at BMO Field Saturday.
Chivas USA took the lead in just the 2nd minute through Alejandro Moreno, who wore the armband for the visitors for the first time. But Alan Gordon, traded to Toronto by Chivas USA just before the seasons started, nodded home the equalizer in the 38th minute.
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The result gave Chivas USA their first point of the season, while Toronto picked up points for the second match in a row.
Toronto coach Aron Winter included his two newest players, Toni Tchani and Danleigh Borman, both acquired in the De Rosario trade, in his starting XI. He also handed Alen Stevanovic his first start for the club.
But the pair were little help in the early going as the home side got off to a horrible start. Just hours after trading fan favourite De Rosario, the Reds found themselves down 1-0. In the build up to the goal, TFC had several chances to impede the danger. However, Chivas midfielder Jorge Flores eventually pushed into the TFC area. His shot was blocked but Moreno was first the loose ball, pivoting around Nana Attakora and poking the ball home past a charging Stefan Frei.
A scattering of boos could be heard throughout the crowd of 18,968.
And Chivas continued to press. Justin Braun had a wide open header skim wide and another decent chance from an acute angle at the back post. But they could not break through for the second goal.
Arguably, previous TFC sides might have folded up shop under the pressure. However, the 2011 version found its rhythm quickly after the goal. Gordon nearly opened his account with a powerful header off the woodwork in the 25th minute, and the players’ confidence visibly grew. The fans, too, got behind the team, and they were rewarded when Gordon was left unmarked in the box, easily heading in Jacob Peterson’s freekick from the left side.
The goal was Toronto’s first off a set-piece this year, and it swung the momentum clearly in favour of the home side. A Maicon Santos goal was ruled offside late in the first half and he came close again early in the second. The Brazilian’s second chance was one he will not want to remember, as he missed an open goal after beating the offside trap and Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. Rather than putting away the winner—or passing it off to a wide-open Stevanovic—he scuffed his shot side of the post.
The BMO fans’ hopes were further buoyed by the insertion of Designated Player Julian de Guzman. Earlier in the week, the midfielder said that he was still about two weeks away from recovering from off-season surgery.
But despite a few half-chances for each side, the game lost its focus late in the second half, and neither team could break the deadlock before the final whistle.
CHV -- Alejandro Moreno 1 (unassisted) 3
TOR -- Alan Gordon 1 (Jacob Peterson 1) 36
Toronto FC -- Stefan Frei, Danleigh Borman, Nana Attakora (Dicoy
Williams 65), Adrian Cann, Ty Harden, Tony Tchani, Maicon Santos, Jacob
Peterson (Julian de Guzman 46), Javier Martina, Alan Gordon, Alen
Stevanovic (Joao Plata 70).
Substitutes Not Used: Oscar Cordon, Dan Gargan, Ashtone Morgan, Milos Kocic.
Chivas USA -- Dan Kennedy, Michael Lahoud, Heath Pearce, Andrew Boyens, Ante Jazic, Nick LaBrocca, Marcos Mondaini (Gerson Mayen 67), Ben Zemanski, Jorge Flores, Justin Braun (Victor Estupinan 86), Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: Francisco Mendoza, Seth Owusu, Mariano Trujillo, Sergio Arias, Zach Thornton.
TOR -- Julian de Guzman (caution; Reckless Foul) 89
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: Ian Anderson; Frank Anderson
4th Official: Juan Guzman