TORONTO – Toronto FC stressed the importance of winning their home games as they entered the 2012-13 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League.
They also wanted to put on a good show at BMO Field after their dud in a 2-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo in a league game last Saturday.
It was mission accomplished on both counts on Wednesday night, as the Reds flattened Salvadoran side Águila with a 5-1 victory in their Group 1 opener.
Luis Silva led the way with a goal and two assists, while Reggie |Lambe added a brace for Toronto. Terry Dunfield and Ryan Johnson also got in on the act with goals on either side of halftime.
The scoring started in the ninth minute as Silva put his head to a corner kick from Torsten Frings and flicked the ball into the bottom left corner.
Toronto went up 2-0 eight minutes later on a goal by Lambe, who tucked a shot from the center of the box into the bottom left corner after some nifty passing. Johnson sent Silva through, and the rookie laid the ball cleanly to the Bermudan to finish.
Águila had a brief glimmer of hope in the 37th minute when Yankiel Pérez pounced on a bad mistake by Milos Kocic to pull the visitors within one. The Toronto ‘keeper fumbled a free kick by former Chivas USA man Osael Romero, and the Cuban striker was there to tuck it back in.
But TFC restored the two-goal margin three minutes later when Ashtone Morgan’s pass found Dunfield, who put his right foot to the ball and directed it into the bottom right corner.
Lambe scored again just three minutes out of halftime on a right-footed shot from outside the box after Morgan found him with a pass from the left side.
Silva then set up Johnson for the fifth goal. After taking the rookie’s pass, the Jamaican international popped out from between Villalobos, who had come well out of his goal, and a defender to have a free path to the goal down the left side.
The victory propels Toronto immediately to the top of Group 1. They resume CCL play on Aug. 28 back at BMO Field in a date with Mexican powerhouse Santos Laguna, who vanquished them in the semifinals this past spring.
Toronto FC return to MLS play on Saturday with a trip to Chicago.