for this game

Toronto ends scoreless drought and winless streak

Sep 12, 2009 - 11:49 PM By IAN HARRISON STATS MLS Correspondent

TORONTO (STATS) - Toronto FC coach Chris Cummins wasn't giving out points for style on Saturday. His team needs wins to get into the playoffs, no matter how they come.

Rookie O'Brian White and defender Nana Attakora scored three minutes apart in the second half to help Toronto snap a three-game winless streak with a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rapids.

"With two more home games after this one, we knew we needed as much points (as possible) at home," Attakora said. "Chris told us he wanted us pressing everywhere and, no matter how we won, he wanted us to win the game. We did that, even though it wasn't pretty."

The victory moved Toronto (9-9-7) into fourth place in the Eastern Conference with five games remaining, including three on the road.

Colorado (10-8-6) is third in the West and has six games left, only two at home.

With midfielder Pablo Mastroeni suspended and six other players injured, Rapids coach Gary Smith knew his team was in for a tough afternoon.

"The reality is, a group that's pretty much decimated with injuries and suspensions have given a wonderful account of themselves," Smith said. "On many occasions we might have got something out of this. Sadly we haven't today."

Dwayne De Rosario's goal in the 19th minute ended a 313-minute scoreless drought for Toronto FC (9-9-7), which had gone 0-2-1 without scoring since a 2-0 win over D.C. United on Aug. 15.

Four minutes after the half, Conor Casey tied it for Colorado with his league-leading 13th goal of the season.

But White replaced Ali Gerba in the 65th minute and took just six minutes to score for Toronto, flicking a through ball from De Rosario over charging goalkeeper Preston Burpo and into the back of the net.

"At one point I thought it might hit (the post)," White said. "When it dropped in, I was like 'Good, the job is finished there.'"

Attakora padded the lead to 3-1 in the 74th minute with a powerful header just under the bar on a corner from Amado Guevara.

"Chris told me before the game that I had to start scoring on set pieces," Attakora said. "I got my head to it and it went in."

It was the first MLS goal for Attakora, helping Toronto improve to 7-3-3 at home.

De Rosario praised his teammates for creating chances with direct, attacking passes.

"If we want to score, that's the way we need to play," he said.

Colorado started Burpo in goal after regular Matt Pickens suffered a knee injury in training this week.

"For goalkeepers who haven't played, it is tough coming into a big atmosphere, a big game, and getting into the pace of it," Smith said. "He'll be disappointed he's conceded three goals, that's for sure."

Casey, whose 51st-minute header gave Colorado a 1-0 win over Toronto last Saturday, was replaced by substitute Facundo Diz after Toronto's third goal.

Michael Holody scored his first of the season in the 89th minute but it wasn't enough for the Rapids, who fell to 0-4-1 on the road since winning at New York on May 30.

Midfielder Julian De Guzman signed with Toronto on Friday, the team's first designated player, but the Canadian international was unable to complete his transfer in time to face the Rapids.

De Guzman took the roster spot of fan favorite Danny Dichio, who retired Wednesday and joined the team's coaching staff. Dichio, who scored the first goal in team history, was honored on the field before kickoff.

Midfielder Carl Robinson (ankle) was scratched from Toronto's starting lineup and replaced by Guevara. Toronto also was without defenders Amadou Sanyang and Adrian Serioux, who were suspended for cards.

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Story from: STATS LLC, http://www.stats.com.