Jonathan Osorio

Toronto Blasts Orlando At Disney

Photo: Jonathan Osorio scores a wonder goal to give Toronto the 3-0 lead (Getty).

Toronto FC won its first match at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic on Wednesday night, beating Orlando City SC 3-0 on the strength of three second half goals.

The Reds were pushed back in the first half and relied on some alert defending, an offside flag and the work of goalkeeper Joe Bendik, making his first start for Toronto, to keep Orlando from getting on the score sheet. 

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Richard Eckersley helped thwart an Orlando chance at the 20th minute by getting in the way of a development inside the Toronto box. Shortly thereafter, Bendik got his hands to a wind-swept Orlando corner headed toward his near post. Six minutes from intermission, Orlando’s Long Tan was denied a powerfully headed goal when the play was ruled offside.

Toronto was more assertive going forward in the second half when Taylor Morgan, Emery Welshman and Terry Dunfield were added to the mix.

Within eight minutes from restart, Toronto went ahead 1-0 when Morgan rounded the keeper to slot home the Reds’ first goal of preseason, following a wonderfully threaded pass from Luis Silva.

Reds doubled the advantage at the 72nd minute. A handball called against Orlando allowed Dunfield a chance to capitalize from the spot. The Canada international calmly fired the ball straight down the middle as Orlando keeper Miguel Gallardo guessed to his left, making the margin 2-0 to Toronto.

An altercation ensued following the penalty during which Orlando's Adama Mbengue was ejected from the match for striking TFC midfielder Kyle Bekker. The Reds enjoyed the man advantage by keeping sustained pressure inside the Orlando half.

A third goal arrived three minutes from regulation. Newly introduced Kia TFC Academy midfielder Jonathan Osorio skipped past a group of Orlando defenders and buried the ball past Gallardo for one of the goals of the tournament and a 3-0 lead.

Toronto lost its opening match of the tournament 1-0 to Columbus and will take on Philadelphia in the third and final game in Group A in the Disney Classic on Saturday, February 16 at 3 p.m. ET. The Reds will finish the tournament a week later in one of four championship round matches against an opponent based on Group B standings.

Toronto lineup: Joe Bendik; Richard Eckersley, Danny Califf (Gale Agbossoumonde 45'), Darren O'Dea, Derrick Bassi (Matt Stinson 45' Daniel Fabrizi 86'); Reggie Lambe (Terry Dunfield 45'), Kyle Bekker (Andrew Wiedeman 80'), Jeremy Hall (Jonathan Osorio 80'), Nicolas Cabrera (Emery Welshman 45'); Luis Silva (Ashton Bennett 75'), Justin Braun (Taylor Morgan 45')