TORONTO — Toronto FC ended an eight-match winless streak in spectacular fashion on Saturday with a 4-1 victory in front of 15,879 at BMO Field against a D.C. United side clearly preoccupied with a more important fixture early next week.
D.C. United sat stalwarts such as Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen and Bill Hamid in light of their upcoming US Open Cup final match, and Toronto missing key players such as Robert Earnshaw, Steven Caldwell, Matias Laba and Jonathan Osorio. In the end, United’s Jared Jeffrey and TFC’s Darel Russell scored highlight-reel goals in the first half to fill the void left by the absence of such significant star power.
United opened the scoring in 12th minute when Jeffrey beat TFC keeper Joe Bendik with an exceptional strike from 25 yards out.
Toronto evened the proceedings 11 minutes later when Russell delivered a sure AT&T MLS Goal of the Week contender when he chested an errant ball inside the D.C. box and turned and volleyed past 'keeper Joe Willis in genuinely spectacular fashion.
TFC took the lead on another high-quality goal in the 67th minute when right back Mark Bloom delivered a fantastic cross that striker Bright Dike finished with authority via a thundering volley.
Toronto added an insurance goal four minutes later on the break when a cross from Alvaro Rey ended up in the back of the D.C. net courtesy of an own-goal by defender Conor Shanosky.
Rey added a spectacular goal of his own in the 87th minute when he showed off some fantastic dribbling ability in the United box before delivering a well-placed shot inside the far post.
With the loss, D.C. United saw their current league winless streak stretch to eight games. Toronto, meanwhile, earned a much-needed victory in their second-to-last home fixture of the season and made a winner of assistant Jim Brennan in his debut as an MLS head coach.
The former TFC defender and Canadian International took over on the sideline due to the suspensions of head coach Ryan Nelsen and assistant Fran O’Leary following their ejections in Toronto’s 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City last weekend.
Toronto FC return to action on October 5 against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park, while D.C. United will face the Real Salt Lake on Tuesday in the US Open Cup final.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Bright Dike||The big man got his goal and was a menace all night for a makeshift D.C. backline.|
|2||Darel Russell||Somehow found himself in dangerous positions all afternoon and got his just reward with a beautiful goal.|
|3||Jared Jeffrey||The opener was a hint of what he can do with space and the ball at his feet in the attacking third.|