April 28, 2007 MLS Toronto FC lose 1-0 to Kansas City Wizards (from Globe and Mail)

POSTED ON: 28/04/07

Toronto FC drops the ball in opener
LARRY MILLSON

Globe and Mail Update

TORONTO The result was the same, a loss for Toronto. The score was 1-0 this time, but the look to the game was different from the first three games the Major League Soccer expansion team has played.

There were occasions when Toronto FC carried the play. There was a more unified approach as new players work their way into the limeup.

Backed by a sellout crowd of 20,148 at BMO Field, the first home game for the franchise, there also was a spirit lacking in previous games. The entertainment value was good.

But Eddie Johnson scored in the 81st minute to dash the dreams of a first victory of the season. The home team pressed in the final minutes and goalkeeper Greg Sutton, the player of the game for Toronto FC, was brought to threaten the Wizards goal on a late-game corner.

With the Toronto skyline in the distance, Toronto FC makes its home debut against the Kansas City Wizards at BMO Field on Saturday. Toronto lost 1-0. (J.P. Moczulski/Reuters)

Sutton was again used as an attacker on a free kick in the waning seconds to no avail.

Toronto FC actually looked as if it could score on numerous occasions with four shots, forcing three saves from goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.

That elusive first goal appeared as if it could happen any time. The best chance probably was on a shot by Andy Welsh on a pass from Alecko Eskandarian in the 33rd minute.

There was a cohesiveness that had been lacking in previous games and the team's confidence seem to grow. The foot-stomping crowd was certainly into it.

This was not the same team that was outplayed 3-0 by the same K.C. team at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Wednesday.

Johnson had an excellent chance to score in the 66th minute as Sutton was drawn out of the goal. But he was able to recover in time to make the save.

The first half was Toronto FC's best to date this season with striker Danny Dichio, playing his first game with the team, providing a physical presence up front, sending goalkeeper Hartman and defender Jose Burciaga to the turf on separate occasions.

Hartman was booed every time he touched the ball after his forceful meeting with Dichio that resulted in a yellow card for the former Preston North End player.

It was one of two yellow cards picked up by Toronto FC in the half. Andrew Boyens picked up the other early for a reckless foul on Johnson.

The Wizards had one yellow card in the first half, to Burciaga for a professional foul on Paul Nagamura. In the 16th minute, K.C. lost midfielder Carlos Marinelli with a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Ryan Pore.

The Wizards second yellow card, perhaps a lenient call, was on Kerry Zavagnin for an elbow smash on Eskandarian just past the half way mark of the second half.

The Wizards picked up another yellow card, on Davy Arnaud, in the 73rd minute for a foul on Maurice Edu, who played well in his second game after missing time with a pelvis injury.

In the 76th minute, Sutton saved on Johnson's break-in as the Wizards pressed.

A couple of minutes later, Johnson and Toronto FC defender Kevin Goldthwaite had a heated discussion near midfield.

Johnson scored a goal in the 81st minute after Toronto FC had made a foray into the Wizards territory that ended with Hartman fielding Goldthwaite's dangerous pass to the goal area.

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