April 28, 2011 MLS-NCC: Santos, TFC Pummel 10-Man Edmonton 3-0 (from MLSsoccer.com)

NCC: Santos, TFC pummel 10-man Edmonton 3-0
Brazilian bags brace as Toronto easily win away leg of semifinals
Duane Rollins
April 28, 2011

Riding a brace from Maicon Santos, Toronto FC held off an eager, but overmatched, 10-man FC Edmonton at Commonwealth Stadium in Alberta on Wednesday 
night to win the opening game of their Nutrilite Canadian Championship semifinal tie 3-0.
Heading into the game, there were questions of whether TFC head coach Aron Winter would put his full focus on the competition. However, based on the 
Reds starting lineup, fans needn’t have worried with seven regulars making the starting XI.
And the favorites lived up to their billing early, bossing the midfield around and forcing their inexperienced opposition into several unforced errors. 
The game changed dramatically in the 23rd minute when FC Edmonton’s Shaun Saiko was given a straight red for a studs-up tackle on midfielder 
Oscar Cordon. Both players were aggressively going after a 50-50 ball, but Saiko chose to leave his feet and was accordingly given his marching orders 
by referee Paul Ward.
Ironically, the card seemed to give Edmonton some life with the first-year NASL side holding most of the play until a broken play in the 35th minute 
gave TFC the breakthrough. 

Gathering up a weak header out of the box, Joao Plata made a nice move to give him space at the top of the 18-yard box. His shot on goal was slightly 
deflected towards Edmonton defender Paul Hamilton, who attempted to dive to cut it off. However, he badly missed and it fell to a poaching Santos, who 
only had the ‘keeper to beat. The Brazilian no mistake, firing a low shot past Rein Baart to make it 1-0.
Any momentum Edmonton may have had prior to the goal was quickly washed away as the game settled with both clubs struggling to deal with the wet 
turf surface.
Things got worse for Edmonton after the re-start. In the 47th minute, Plata found himself front and center again, with a nice touch to flip the ball 
to streaking Oscar Cordon on top of the 18. His attempt at goal was partially blocked, but it fell on the foot of Alan Gordon, who tapped it into the 
open net for his first NCC goal.
Santos finished the brace, and likely the tie, when he pounced on a poor goal kick from Baart and broke in 2-on-0 against the keeper. Using Plata 
as a decoy, he drove a hard shot past the veteran ‘keeper to put the game out of reach in the 61st minute.
The two clubs will meet up again on May 4 at BMO Field to wrap up the total-goals contest, with the Reds looking to move on the NCC final and win their 
third straight Voyageurs Cup. 

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