Toronto FC 2, New York Red Bulls 0 | MLS Match Recap

TORONTO – Toronto FC’s English forward duo of Jermain Defoe and Luke Moore both found the back of the net at chilly BMO Field against the New York Red Bulls to give the Reds a 2-0 win over their Eastern Conference rivals on Saturday afternoon.

Defoe’s goal, a sublime top-shelf shot, opened the scoring for Toronto FC, and the score held until second-half injury time, when a fortuitous bounce landed kindly to Moore’s feet, allowing him to open his MLS account and seal the victory for TFC. 

The first goal came on a lightning-quick counter as New York attempted to play through Toronto FC’s compact formation. Bradley Orr, who had a standout performance in central midfield, intercepted a pass and pushed forward, sliding a perfectly-weighted through ball into the path of Defoe's run.

Defoe controlled the ball, took four strides forward and cracked a rocket of a shot into the top corner of the net, beating Luis Robles to give TFC a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute of play. 

Referee Silviu Petrescu doled out three yellow cards in the first half, the first to Thierry Henry in the 6th minute, the next two to Jamison Olave and Justin Morrow as the half dwindled down in testy fashion.

Red Bulls coach Mike Petke made a halftime substitution, Chris Duvall coming in for Kosuke Kimura at right back, but strangely, Duvall was not allowed to enter the match from the opening whistle due to an issue with New York's documentation of the swap. Nelsen made his first change 10 minutes later, Moore coming in for Gilberto.

New York nearly found an equalizer in the 82nd minute when Henry surged past Alvaro Rey along the left channel and sent a low cross across the box.

The pass fell kindly to Bradley Wright-Phillips but New York's red-hot striker an absolute sitter, slamming his shot well over an empty net with goalkeeper Joe Bendik cut out of the play.

TFC substitute Dan Lovitz had a similar chance from a similar buildup minutes later, but his shot was blocked by Olave. 

With 10 minutes to go in the match, Petke made his final change, Ruben Bover coming in for Bobby Convey. Defoe and RBNY defender Armando picked up matching yellow cards in the 88th minute after an ill-tempered confrontation as the game heated up in the dying moments.

Five minutes of added time provided Kyle Bekker with an opportunity at scoring but his shot went wide. In the final minute, Moore opened his Toronto FC account with an easy tap-in after Robles failed to claim a bouncing ball

With the win, TFC are now 4-4-0 in league play with 12 points from eight games. Toronto now travel to Kansas for a Friday night clash with Sporting KC, while New York host the Portland Timbers at Red Bull Arena on Saturday.

 

MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match

Rank Player What We Saw
1 Jermain Defoe That's why he's here. An emphatic finish and 90 minutes of dangerous movement showed what Roy Hodgson and England are missing. 
2 Bradley Orr An effective replacement for Michael Bradley, with a smooth assist on Defoe's strike and relentless work on both sides of the ball.
3 Thierry Henry Perhaps the only Red Bull to really show up, his vision and trickery set up his teammates with a bevy of inviting, and unfinished, chances.