for this game

Toronto FC breaks drought with first league win

May 13, 2007 - 12:29 AM TORONTO, (Ticker) -- Toronto FC finally brought the fans out of their seats - and the seats out from the fans.

Expansion Toronto achieved milestones on three fronts - scoring its first goal and earning its first point and victory - in a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Fire on Saturday.

Danny Dichio scored a first-half goal and Kevin Goldthwaite and No. 1 overall SuperDraft pick Maurice Edu added second-half strikes for Toronto (1-4-0), which needed five games to end its scoring drought.

"I was excited with overall how our team performed today," Toronto coach Mo Johnston said. "... Again the fans were magnificent and I hope they're going to do that every week. It's like a cup final. Teams in America will not like coming here."

Toronto had been outscored, 10-0, in its first four games and lost its home opener, 1-0, on May 5 to Kansas City.

But with raucous crowd chanting, "All we are saying, is give us a goal," Toronto did exactly that to take a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute.

Dichio, who later was ejected for violent conduct along with Chicago's Diego Gutierrez, ended the 384-minute scoreless streak by meeting Edson Buddle's crossing with a sliding shot that beat goalkeeper Matt Pickens.

"The goal was fantastic," Dichio said. "I thought he (Buddle) was going to shoot but he sent a great ball across and it was a tap-in for me. It was a great day for me and the fans of the FC."

Fans serenaded the goal by tossing seat cushions onto the field, forcing a delay in the action that would be repeated three times in the match.

It was exactly what Toronto FC was seeking from Dichio, who was signed after the start of the season from English club Preston North End.

Chris Rolfe pulled the Fire even, pouncing on a deflected corner kick and drilling an 18-yard shot past Greg Sutton to knot it at 1-1 in the 34th minute.

The first half was marred by a tussle between Dichio and Gutierrez, who were both ejected after Dichio got tangled up with Pickers off an attempted header.

"I just kinda went up for the ball, high ball in the box, managed to get my head on the ball," Dichio said. "As I landed the goalkeeper lashed out and hit me on the side of the leg and I've had an injury before and I know how that can cause an injury, so that's why I lost my temper."

The Fire (3-2-1) appeared to have the momentum, but Toronto FC stormed out and took control in the second half.

Edu and Ronnie O'Brien had superb chances in the first three minutes, and the pressure paid off when Goldthwaite, off a touch pass from Buddle, patiently waited and beat Pickens to the right corner in the 51st minute.

"Feels great. Feels great to be the guy to get the game-winner today," Goldthwaite said. "And for it to be my first goal in a place like this with the fans couldn't have come at a better time for me."

Toronto got the insurance goal it needed in the 75th minute off a magnificent effort from Edu. The striker out of the University of Maryland settled a long crossing pass from Andrea Lombardo with his right foot and quickly unleashed a bullet with his left into the top right corner of the net.

That brought another hail of seat cushions and frisbees from the crowd.

"I've never seen anything like that," Edu said. "It shows the loyalty of our fans. I've heard that Toronto has a big soccer base here and they were just waiting for the team. We had a big turnout today and hats off to the fans."

Sutton made four saves to pick up his first victory with Toronto. Pickens had five saves for Chicago, which lost its second straight game.

"Defensively we've given up six goals in two games and that's disturbing," Fire coach Dave Sarachan said. "We have to take a hard look at what we're doing in the back and fix it. We're going to have to look at the tape, go through some things and hopefully it gets cleaned up the next time we play."

  • MLS

    May 12 5:43 PM

    TORONTO FC GOAL: Maurice Edu in the 75th minute

    Fire vs. Toronto FCMay 12 5:23 PM

    TORONTO FC GOAL: Kevin Goldthwaite in the 51st minute

    Fire vs. Toronto FCMay 12 4:59 PM

  • MLS

    May 12 4:36 PM

    CHICAGO GOAL: Chris Rolfe in the 37th minute

    Fire vs. Toronto FCMay 12 4:23 PM

    TORONTO FC GOAL: Daniele Dichio in the 24th minute

    Fire vs. Toronto FCMay 12 4:10 PM