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Nkufo helps Sounders beat Toronto FC 3-2

Oct 2, 2010 - 11:21 PM SEATTLE (AP) -- Blaise Nkufo and Steve Zakuani scored in the first half to lead the Seattle Sounders to a 3-2 win over Toronto FC on Saturday.

Seattle (12-9-6) earned its third consecutive win and improved to 4-1-1 in the past six games, bolstering its chances of making the playoffs for the second time in as many MLS seasons.

Nkufo scored his fifth goal in three games on a header off a free kick in the 26th minute, giving Seattle a 2-1 lead in front of a sellout crowd of 36,079.

"I'm really proud of the way we came back after they scored the first goal to go up 2-1 at halftime," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. "Once we were up 3-1, we wanted to make sure the fans stayed involved so we decided to make it 3-2 at the very end."

Zakuani scored in the 21st minute to tie it at 1. Zakuani took a pass inside the box, beat goalkeeper Stefan Frei and kicked the ball into an open net.

"I don't think it was so much that they went ahead because they were playing better than us," Zakuani said. "I think we were playing well. But it was important that we scored before halftime. I thought overall it was a very, very good performance."

Dwayne De Rosario and Chad Barrett scored for Toronto (8-12-7), which dropped to 1-6-2 in the past nine games.

"It's very demoralizing," Frei said. "We have to take a good look at ourselves, although our mentality should've been there from the get-go of the season. People are maybe going to have to look at themselves and worry about their jobs a little more now."

De Rosario's 13th goal gave Toronto the lead in the 16th minute. It also snapped Kasey Keller's three-game shutout streak.

Sanna Nyassi scored his first MLS goal in the 59th minute to make it 3-1. Barrett responded in the 88th minute but that was it for Toronto.

The Sounders, with 42 points, can sense they are closing in on a playoff berth.

"I've always told you the magic number for me is 45 because that gets you there for sure," Schmid said. "We are within striking distance of that and we've got three games to get there, so we need to win one out of our last three. But we want to do more than that."

Zakuani likes how Seattle has turned its season around after a 4-8-4 start.

"We've lost once in 12 or 13 games so we've been on a good run overall," Zakuani said. "As a team we played well and we've been doing that for a long time."