for this game

Cronin, Dichio lead Toronto FC past Red Bulls

Jun 14, 2009 - 3:34 AM By IAN HARRISON STATS MLS Correspondent

TORONTO (STATS) - In a matchup of struggling teams, a pivotal early goal calmed Toronto FC and helped send the New York Red Bulls to yet another road loss.

Sam Cronin and Danny Dichio each scored in the first half and Toronto held off New York 2-1 on Saturday night.

Cronin tapped in off a saved penalty kick and Dichio blasted into an empty net from outside the area as Toronto (5-5-4) snapped a two-game losing streak.

Albert Celades scored in the 54th minute for New York (2-10-3), which lost its fifth straight.

"It comes down to desire and belief on a number of plays early in the first half, the penalty included," said frustrated New York goalkeeper Danny Cepero. "Sometimes there's a lack of faith, myself included, that trickles down the team and that shows itself on the field. Unfortunately, we've been punished in those instances."

The Red Bulls, last in the Eastern Conference, extended their winless streak to six games. They also dropped to 0-7-1 on the road while getting outscored 12-1.

"You've got to think they're questioning themselves a little bit," Cronin said of the Red Bulls. "They have good players but they're bottom of the league right now so they're going to have a little doubt about themselves."

New York has won just once in its last 10 matches and is winless in its last 20 road games dating to last season, an MLS record.

Toronto needed just 3 minutes to open the scoring. New York defender Seth Stammler was penalized for handling the ball after falling over inside his own area, giving the home team a penalty kick. Cepero guessed correctly and made a leaping save on Amado Guevara's spot kick, but Cronin was there to tap in the rebound for his first MLS goal.

Cronin, who kept a game ball as a memento, said the quick strike lifted Toronto's spirits.

"To get the early goal was huge," he said. "There's a lot of talk, there's a lot of people doubting us around the city, there's kind of some doubt going around the team a little bit right now but we've stayed positive and kept working hard and doing the same things we've done."

Both Stammler and New York coach Juan Carlos Osorio were disappointed by referee Jair Marrufo's call.

"I thought it was a harsh decision," Osorio said. "Seth was going down. It was one of those where he couldn't avoid the ball. Obviously that was a big blow to us, considering the circumstances. They were first to the rebound and that's very disappointing."

Suddenly full of confidence, Toronto doubled its advantage in the 43rd minute when Guevara sent Pablo Vitti in alone with a looping pass over the halfway line. Cepero raced out and managed to kick the ball away with his right foot, but an alert Dichio beat two defenders to the loose ball and curled it into the open net from 25 yards out.

Celades, who blazed wide on a golden chance in the first half, redeemed that miss by scoring his first MLS goal later. Celades took a pass from Juan Pablo Angel inside the penalty area and slotted the ball just inside the post, giving New York its first road goal of the season.

"I think we deserved at least a point," Osorio said. "At least in the second half, we took the game to them."

Defender Nick Garcia, acquired in a midweek trade with San Jose, made his Toronto debut in the center of the defense.

Red Bulls defender Kevin Goldthwaite (sore left foot) was a late scratch and was replaced by Carlos Mendes.

Originally scheduled for Aug. 9, this match was moved up to accommodate Toronto's Aug. 7 exhibition match against Spanish giants Real Madrid.


Story from: STATS LLC,