TORONTO – The Colorado Rapids edged past injury-ridden Toronto FC 1-0 in a scrappy match at BMO Field on Saturday, thanks to Edson Buddle's 99th career MLS goal.
Buddle stroked home a low finish after a quick series of passes by the Rapids landed at the US forward’s feet for an easy tap-in goal in the 77th minute.
Colorado started the play on the right, a cross finding substitute Dillon Serna, who switched the play to Dillon Powers. Powers took a look up, saw Buddle in the box surrounded by Toronto FC defenders and put in a well-placed pass to find his forward. Buddle slipped the ball past Julio Cesar to earn Colorado their first-ever points from a regular-season visit to Toronto.
In truth, it was evenly contested game, with Toronto FC creating many more chances but Colorado absorbing their pressure with calmness and poise. Despite a handful of close calls, Toronto couldn’t find the back of the net as the Reds clearly missed injured stars Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe.
The first half was a relatively staid affair, both sides enjoying spells of extended possession with fluid build up but neither team finding the back of the net. Toronto created the bulk of the chances, with numerous corners and a few misplaced headers.
Steven Caldwell picked up a yellow card for handball in the 17th minute, the only card of the game, but the Rapids could not take advantage of the dangerous set piece that resulted and the two teams headed into the locker rooms level at 0-0.
The second half was much of the same, both teams playing with positive intent but neither side getting onto the scoresheet until Buddle's late decider.
Seconds later, Caldwell nearly corrected his earlier mistake with a header of his own, which went just wide.
Serna entered in the 74th minute for Nathan Sturgis and he made his presence felt soon after in the build-up to the game’s only goal. Toronto tried to find an answer in the remaining 15 minutes through a series of corners and free kicks, but couldn’t reply in kind, giving Colorado a valuable three points away from home.
It’s TFC’s second loss of the season and the first loss at BMO Field. The Reds were without five key starters in Defoe, Bradley, Jonathan Osorio, Doneil Henry and Alvaro Rey. The win moves the Rapids into second in the Western Conference with 10 points.
Toronto FC take on FC Dallas next Saturday at Toyota Stadium. Meanwhile, the Rapids host the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on April 19.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Dillon Powers||Ran the Rapids engine room efficiently and made the difference on the game-deciding play. Continues to play with outsized maturity for his age.|
|2||Edson Buddle||It took a while for him to get into the flow of this uneven match, but he took his best chance with gusto.|
|3||Kyle Bekker||There's no avoiding the extent to which TFC missed Michael Bradley, but Bekker contributed plenty of energy and tempo in his stead nonetheless.|