for this game

Toronto perseveres to earn win over RSL

Aug 14, 2011 - 4:57 AM Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Toronto FC earned its fourth win of the Major League Soccer season, defeating Real Salt Lake 1-0 Saturday night at BMO Field.

Joao Plata's 77th minute strike came against the run of play, but it was enough to see Toronto claim all the three points against the Western Conference powerhouse.

"I have to give a big compliment to the team because we have done very well," said Toronto FC manager Aron Winter. "If you watched the whole game and the possession we had with the ball, against a very good opponent, everyone is forgetting that Salt Lake is good.

"I think that is a big compliment for the guys that you are watching also that every game there is progression and improvement."

Real Salt Lake was close to scoring on several occasions in the opening period.

Kyle Beckerman's 23rd minute shot was deflected and looked to be heading in, but it hit the crossbar and went out for a corner.

Real Salt Lake struck the frame again in the 30th minute when Fabian Espindola collected the ball in the center of the box, but his effort struck the crossbar as well.

In the second half, Real Salt Lake continued to apply the pressure to Toronto, but it was unable to get off the mark.

Toronto got the goal against the run of play when Matt Stinson sent a long cross deep in the Real Salt Lake box. It was controlled by Plata, who beat his man and sent a low shot that trickled past Nick Rimando, hitting the far post and crossing the goal line.

Real Salt Lake did not appear to be out of the game, as they pushed forward in search of an equalizer.

Second-string goalkeeper Milos Kocic ensured that Salt Lake did not find that equalizer, as he made several crucial saves down the stretch to preserve the clean sheet and all three points for Toronto.

"Soccer is a very cruel game, that's what I walk away from this game and think to myself, this is a cruel game sometimes," Real Sale Lake manager Jason Kreis said. "I think that we did enough tonight, certainly to pick up a draw, and on a different night we walk away from here with all three points."

With the win, Toronto is now unbeaten in its last three MLS regular season matches, going 1-0-2 over that period. It has now claimed 23 points from 26 matches on the season.

Real Salt Lake, meanwhile, has struggled since the All-Star Game, going 1-3 since the break. The club remains in fifth place in the West with 36 points from 22 matches.

Both teams will play their next MLS matches away from home, as Toronto face the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on Aug. 21, while Real Salt will travel to Robertson Stadium to face to the Houston Dynamo on Aug. 20.