March 28, 2007 Toronto FC beat New York Red Bulls in Carolina Challenge Cup (from Toronto FC Media Relations)

03/28/2007 9:25PM
Toronto FC beat Red Bulls for first victory in South Carolina
O'Brien sets up both goals in 2-1, win as Johnston beats former team
Toronto FC Media Relations

Toronto FC defeated the New York Red Bulls 2-1 for their first victory against MLS competition in the Carolina Challenge Cup.

TFC got off to a fast start and had their first opportunity in the 4th minute when Adam Braz, who returned to the lineup after spending time with the Canadian National Team, played in a cross from the right side in the area to Alecko Eskandarian, but his shot was just off the mark.

It was only minutes later that Toronto found the back of the net. Ronnie O'Brien sent a quick pass to Eskandarian who put a one-timer past New York's Ronald Waterreus who just let the bouncing ball slip by to give Toronto the 1-0 lead after 10 minutes.

In the 21st minute, Red Bulls found the equalizer as Dave van den burgh sent a great cross into the box, and John Wolyniec finished it off with a beautiful header beating an out-stretched Greg Sutton to make it 1-1.

Head Coach Mo Johnston named O'Brien captain for the match, and the Irishman was involved in the eventual game winning goal in the 36th. O'Brien's free kick found Edson Buddle at the far post his header took one bounce and beat Waterreus. That goal made it 2-1, as Buddle put one past his former team.

O'Brien almost made it 3 late in the first half - with a long chip shot from the center circle, the ball, floating over the keeper's head but hit the top of the netting - and TFC went to the locker room with the lead.

New York made one change to their lineup to start the second half as defender Marvell Wynne was replaced by Hunter Freeman. Red Bulls had a great chance to pull level in the 65th as a free kick taken by Van den burgh curled past the wall, and was unlucky not to go in, hitting the post.

Eskandarain was at it again in the 73rd picking up a free ball in the area, and going one on one with Waterreus, but his chance foiled by keeper.

Three minutes later, New York were awarded a penalty shot after the referee called a hand ball in the area...Van den burgh's shot from the spot, saved by Sutton who guessed correctly, diving to his left and preventing New York from scoring on a penalty in their second straight game. Earlier in the tournament, New York's Claudio Reyna was denied in their game against the Charleston Battery.

"It's always good to get a win, but preseason is about fitness," said Johnston, "I applaud the guys for fighting 90 minutes but, it has to get better, we're still not good enough."

The victory for Toronto gives them a 1-1 record in the tournament, with their final game to come Saturday, 6:00pm against hosts Charleston Battery. The Battery were playing Houston in the late game on Wednesday. New York is now 1-1, after beating Charleston 1-0 earlier in the tournament.

The majority of the Toronto players will have Thursday's practice session off, while those that did not see action will resume training in the morning.

Scoring Summary:
Toronto: Eskandarain (O'Brien) 10'
New York: Wolyniec (Van Den Bergh) 21'
Toronto: Buddle (O'Brien) 36'

Toronto FC: Greg Sutton, Andrew Boyens, Adam Braz, Jim Brennan, Ronnie O'Brien, Richard Asante, Jose Cancela (David Guzman 58, Maycoll Canizalez 79), Richard Mulrooney, Loes Andrade (Chris Pozniak 22), Alecko Eskandarian, Edson Buddle

New York Red Bulls: Ronald Waterreus, Marvell Wynne (Hunter Freeman 45), Jeff Parke (Joe Vide 61), Carlos Mendes, Todd Dunivant, Claudio Reyna (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 61), Seth Stammler, Dane Richards, Dema Kovalenko, Dave Van Den Bergh, John Wolyniec

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