Full Time: Toronto FC loses to the Puerto Rico Islanders 1-0

Fred NockContributor IJuly 29, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 04: Jim Brennan #11 of the Toronto FC argues a call during their game against the New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands on October 4, 2008 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Toronto defeated New York 3-1.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)

Toronto FC began its first journey into the CONCACAF Champions league at home tonight at BMO field versus the Puerto Rico Islanders.  

But Toronto FC lost 1-0, despite having 11 corner kicks to the Islanders' none.

This is the first of a two game series with the Islanders, and the winner of the two games will move on to the round of 16.

The Islanders are one of the USL's strongest clubs. With 26 goals in 22 games, they are the second-highest scoring team in the USL first division.

Toronto FC was dealing with some injuries, most notably to Amado Guevara. Adrian Serioux was also on the bench, even though he passed his fitness test, because Toronto FC didn't want to take any chances with his leg injury.

The Toronto crowd was loud and proud, as always. The club songs were ringing out in unison from the 20,000-plus in attendance.

The Islanders had a lot of possessions early, but Toronto FC got stronger as the game went on.

The best scoring chance in the first 25 minutes was a cross by Barrett that was headed just wide of the right post by Dwayne De Rosario. 

De Rosario had another chance at 28 minutes when he tried a long free kick from just past the half. Noticing the keeper off his line, De Ro tried to score from long distance and almost succeeded. 

Puerto Rico has been kept mostly to the outside in this early going.

Offensive force De Rosario linked up with Gerba for a rush. De Ro won a corner kick, which was not successful. Then, another short corner played back to Brennan, but he was in an offside position, so the play was whistled dead.

Ali Gerba looked pretty intense in his third game for TFC, as he was consistently around the goal looking for something he can use.

The play was consistently in the Islanders end the entire game. Puerto Rico had a brief counter attack at the 35 minute mark, but some smooth and steady play by Gomez kept them out of trouble.

Marco Velez is captain of the Puerto Rico National Team and is a former Islander, but he is on the bench tonight for TFC.

Kendall Jagdeosingh and Jonny Steele had some nice play for the Islanders in the two minutes of extra time at the end of the first half, but the match remained scoreless.

The second half began well, with tons of Toronto pressure. A strong counter attack resulted in a Puerto Rico free kick at the 67th-minute mark. 

A long ball from half made it in to Jagdeosingh, and he put it on the net. Stephan Frei got a hand on it, but Jagdeosingh pounded the rebound in for the goal. 

This was really the Islanders' only chance in the match, and they made TFC pay.

Toronto FC had some exciting and glorious chances late in the game, most notably Danny Dichio's header that went just wide after going off goalie Gaudette's outstreched mitts.

Toronto must now win by one goal in Puerto Rico to force extra time. If nothing was to resolved in the extra time, they would go to penalty kicks.

TFC plays in Puerto Rico on Aug. 4.


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