Result of the Wednesday May 23, 2007 friendly game between Toronto FC of MLS and Benfica of Portugal played at BMO Field in Toronto at 7:30pm.

Toronto FC (red socks and shirts, white shorts, names and numbers)

..............................1 Greg Sutton
16 Marvell Wynne...4 Marco Reda...11 Jim Brennan (cpt)...8 Kevin Goldthwaite
5 Ronnie O'Brien...13 Chris Pozniak...6 Maurice Edu...23 Miguel Canizalez
...................12 Edson Buddle...20 Andrea Lombardo

Subs:...18 Srdjan Djekanovic (gk)...3 Adam Braz (def)...7 Andy Welsh (mid)...9 Danny Dichio (fwd)...14 Joey Melo (mid)...15 David Guzman (mid)...28 Stephen Lumley (def)
team officials:...head coach Mo Johnston

Benfica (white socks, names and numbers, black shorts, tan shirts)

..........................1 Moreira
2 Pedro Correia...3 Anderson...16 Beto...23 David Luiz
22 Nelson...10 Rui Costa (cpt)...15 Paulo Jorge...11 Miguelito
.................18 Manu...30 Fabrizio Miccoli

Subs:...31 Moretto (gk)...?? Leo (def)...17 Miguel Vitor (def)...35 Miguel Rosa (mid)...34 Romeu Ribeiro (mid)...19 Leocisio Sami (fwd)

Game officials:...referee Sylviu Petrescu...referee's assistants Amato DeLuca and Isaac Raymond....fourth official Justin Tasev...(neon green shirts, black shorts and socks)

1st Half:...game starts 7:51pm...TFC defend south end. Weather is warm with a bright sun in the northwest.
3 min...TFC Buddle off-balance 22 yard shot over net.
5 min...Ben Manu cross 15 yards from right end line caught by goalie.
6 min...TFC O'Brien 40 yard freekick down middle over players wide left.
7 min...Ben Paulo Jorge cross to Ben Manu whose shot from 20 yards partially blocked and goalie pounces on it.
8 min...TFC player's header flick bounces for Ben goalie on edge of box.
10 min...Ben Manu 22 yard shot low through crowd of players is wide left.
11 min...TFC Goldthwaite 35 yard shot from left side is well over net.
12 min...TFC Lombardo 8 yard shot blocked by defender for cornerkick.
16 min...Ben Nelson run up middle but his 15 yard roller is wide right.
20 min...Ben Paulo Jorge can't get penalty call when TFC Wynne jostles him over inside TFC box on left.
23 min...TFC O'Brien 25 yard freekick from near left end line has goalie swat ball through box.
23 min...TFC Pozniak blasts partially cleared rebound from 35 yards after cornerkick well over net.
27 min...TFC Wynne cross from right has TFC Lombardo not quite able to turn header from 4 yards on leap and tips ball wide left.
29 min...TFC goalie runs to edge of box to grab loose ball.
31 min...Ben Miguelito blasts partially cleared ball well wide left on 25 yard kick.
32 min...TFC Goldthwaite 35 yard cross from left is well over net.
34 min...TFC Wynne cornerkick has defender head away.
34 min...TFC YELLOW card...Lombardo for wrestling player to ground outside center circle.
41 min...Ben Manu from 4 yards checked off ball by TFC Pozniak after he'd deked another defender and gets no shot away as he's knocked over.
43 min...Ben Fabrizio Miccoli injured on sliding tackle at TFC 30 yard line and has to be treated off field.
46 min...Ben player's 20 yard shot blocked by defender's head 16 yards out.
46 min...half ends 8:37pm.

Halftime entertainment:...a video presentation of Eusebio is presented on the scoreboard. He currently holds a postion with Benfica and is well known to old timers in Toronto for the NASL championship 1976 season with Toronto Metros-Croatia.

2nd Half:...starts 8:54pm...the sun has set below the stands so does not play a factor.
Halftime subs:...TFC Braz replaces Pozniak.
.....................TFC Dichio replaces Lombardo.
46 min...Ben Pedro Correia cross from right end line has TFC defender clear on left side of box.
48 min...Ben Fabrizio Miccoli mid-air shot from 25 yards is well over net.
50 min...Ben Paulo Jorge cornerkick from left has Ben Beto on right end line header blocked and cleared.
51 min...Ben player's cross from left is over players in box.
52 min...Ben four player multi-pass play on edge of TFC box is wasted as ball rolled behind end line.
54 min...TFC O'Brien cornerkick from right is blocked by closest defender.
55 min...Ben Beto had finished good run to end line then TFC Wynne run up right and deked defender, his low cross has TFC Dichio's 15 yard one-touch shot low and blocked by diving goalie.
56 min...Ben Rui Costa 25 yard shot up middle is low and wide left.
57 min...TFC sub...Welsh replaces Reda.
58 min...Ben Fabrizio Miccoli run up middle and 10 yard shot blocked point blank by goalie.
59 min...TFC sub...Djekanovic replaces Sutton in goal.
59 min...Ben YELLOW card...David Luiz for tackle on TFC Wynne.
60 min...Ben sub...Leocisio Sami replaces Paulo Jorge.
62 min...Ben Beto 30 yard blast just misses top right corner of net.
63 min...TFC YELLOW card...Dichio for kick sweep from behind on Ben David Luiz at Ben 35 yards near sideline.
65 min...Ben player's 15 yard shot has goalie make save.
65 min...TFC goalie on edge of box stops Ben Fabrizio Miccoli's through ball.
67 min...Ben Beto 30 yard blast through crowd caught by goalie.
69 min...TFC O'Brien lofts 16 yard chip over net when TFC Dichio shot blocked by goalie but goalie went down and gave up rebound.
70 min...TFC O'Brien 40 yard freekick up middle is caught by goalie.
71 min...Ben sub...Miguel Rosa replaces Pedro Correia.
.............TFC sub...Nunez replaces Edu.
73 min...TFC O'Brien gets cross low from left and TFC Buddle shot blocked by defender from 6 yards deflects off TFC Buddle for goalkick.
74 min...TFC sub...Melo replaces Wynne.
77 min...TFC sub...Guzman replaces O'Brien.
78 min...Ben Rui Costa 30 yard freekick from left has TFC Dichio block for cornerkick.
78 min...Ben Manu cornerkick from right has goalie catch ball near left post.
82 min...Ben goalie dives out to beat TFC Nunez to through ball to edge of box.
83 min...TFC goalie bumps Ben Manu off ball and lets ball run over end line for goalkick.
86 min...TFC Brennan 50 yard freekick up middle is whistled down on edge of box.
87 min...Ben sub...Romeu Ribeiro replaces Rui Costa.
88 min...Ben sub...Miguel Vitor replaces Nelson.
89 min...Ben player's 50 yard pass upfield rolls for goalkick.
93 min...Ben player's big cross from left bounces through TFC box unplayed.
93 min...game ends 9:43pm.

Final Score:........Toronto FC...........0........Benfica.......0......

Attendance wasnít announced but newspaper reports stated it was 18730 which was the smallest crowd so far to watch Toronto FC at BMO Field. The weather was warm and there was neither home television nor radio coverage but this game wasnít finalized until last month and it was a midweek game and the price of tickets for non-season subscribers was more than double a usual game ticket. I noticed about 20% of the seats not filled. Many fans of Benfica were at the game and they made up maybe 30% of the fans. I noticed many had Benfica shirts but TFC scarves so there was definitely an overlap of fan support.

This game had made headlines well before it was played by Toronto officials saying they were going to play many of their second line players because they had played three league games in the last week on the hard-turfed BMO Field and they have a league game Saturday against Columbus. They did end up using a good starting line-up and brought in more regulars as subs in the second half. I donít know the line-up of Benfica but other reports have them playing most of their starters after just completing their schedule in the Portuguese league and finishing third.

A very respectable showing from Toronto FC and subbing in their back up goalie Srdjan Djekanovic for starter and player of every minute of every game Greg Sutton didnít cause the team to collapse. They shared the shutout tonight. Benfica goalie Moreira earned the shutout for his team.

I didnít feel there were a lot of clear cut chances that required fantastic saves by either team in this game. Toronto had fewer shots on net but the two most dangerous were at 55 minutes when Marvell Wynne run up the right wing and deked a defender then sent in a low cross for Danny Dichio to one-touch a 15 yard shot that was blocked by diving goalie Moreira. At 69 minutes, Dichio had a shot blocked by the goalie who went down and gave up a big rebound but Ronnie OíBrien chipped a 16 yard shot over players in the box but it was just over the bar of the open net.

Toronto now goes out of town for the weekend and wonít play a home game until the next Saturday, June 2nd against Colorado. Their season has been a series of long road trips and home stands because the schedule makers wanted to avoid early cold-weather home games and a huge one month chunk of time in July when Toronto would be one of the host cities for the FIFA Under 20 championships. This along with many players being called up for the Under 20 and Gold Cup tourneys may be a reason Toronto FC may not make the playoffs this year.

Rocket Robin
robing@eol.ca


Toronto FC players warming up.


Benfica players warming up.


Benfica starters.


Toronto FC starters.


First half action.


Benfica waits to start second half.

back to Toronto FC

....................................................................................................................................................................................................

....................................................................................................................................................................................................

....................................................................................................................................................................................................

....................................................................................................................................................................................................

....................................................................................................................................................................................................

....................................................................................................................................................................................................

....................................................................................................................................................................................................

....................................................................................................................................................................................................