Puerto Rico Islanders Defeat Toronto FC to Move on to the Group Stage

Fred NockContributor IAugust 4, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 04:  Danny Dichio #9 of the Toronto FC and Jeff Parke # 60 of the New York Red Bulls battle for the ball 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 were as grey and dull as their uniforms for the first 60 minutes of their Tuesday night game in Puerto Rico versus the Islanders.  Both teams struggled to maintain any kind of possession in the first half of play. 

Toronto FC looked worse than the last time these two teams met, looking kind of tired, listless and disinterested;  Puerto Rico, by contrast, looked better, taking more shots and actually having the edge in possession in the first half.

The second half was a bit more inspired for Toronto FC.  They made some substitutions, putting in Barratt and Danny Dichio in an effort to spark the offense.

Dichio's off-the-post at the 77-minute mark was the closest Toronto had come to scoring to that point. Dichio had the best chance in the previous game as well, when his header went for the left side of the goal but was pushed aside by Gaudette.

The Islanders goalie, Gaudette, was again stellar in this match.  He had numerous excellent saves—the best was perhaps pushing an Amado Guevara drive over the top bar.

Steele had a late drive that Stephan Frei had to push over the net.

In the end, Toronto's pressure was not enough.  There was too much individual play.  It was a kind of chaotic, ineffective pressure that Toronto fans have seen a lot of—too much maybe.

Kendal Jagdeosingh was given a red card at the 88-minute mark to put the Islanders down a man.  The reason for the flag was not visually apparent. 

In extra time—with even Toronto's goalie joining the attack—Toronto could not put the ball in the net and as a result, they are eliminated from the Champions League. 

Puerto Rico will go on to the group stage.