for this game

Robert lifts Toronto FC in home opener

Apr 19, 2008 - 7:38 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Laurent Robert scored in the 31st minute Saturday as Toronto FC opened its home schedule with a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake.

After playing its first three games on the road, Toronto FC (2-2-0) was greeted by its normally raucous fans at festive BMO Field.

Robert, a French international who played for Derby in the English Premier League last season, gave the fans even more reason to cheer when he blasted a left-footed free kick past diving goalkeeper Nick Rimando for the game's only goal.

"The free kick for me was very lucky as it was so close to the goal, only 16 yards away," Roberts said. "I knew the wall would jump so I hit it hard and was very lucky that it deflected in."

In just its second season, Toronto FC reached .500 for the first time in its brief history and built on last week's 3-2 road win over David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

It was a disappointing result for Real Salt Lake (1-2-1), which was unable to build on last week's dominating 4-0 victory over D.C. United.

With the fans providing the atmosphere, Toronto FC came out inspired and carried the play the entire first half, gaining the only seven shots on goal.

The pressure finally paid off Amado Guevara was fouled by Matias Mantilla, leading to the free kick for Robert, whose shot went under the wall and skipped past Rimando.

"My fitness is very good," Robert said. "I played for the first time on this pitch and it was a little different for me, especially on the knees and passing the ball. But I'm okay."

"Laurent has a reputation now for his free kicks," Toronto FC coach John Carver said. "I told Guevara that he'll get his chance once Robert misses one. His right has the same quality as Robert's left."

In the 44th minute, Toronto FC nearly extended its lead but Rimando made a diving stop on Marvell Wynne's shot from about 20 yards out.

Held without a shot in the opening half when it seemed to lack energy, Real Salt Lake pressed early after intermission, coming within inches of tying the contest before a loose ball was cleared off the Toronto FC goal line.

"I told them to expect them (Real Salt Lake) to come out quick in the second half," Carver said. "I knew their coach would be giving them a good rollicking. We dug in and we dealt with it."

Kenny Deuchar made another bid to tie it in the 65th minute, only to have his header turned away by Greg Sutton, who finished with three saves. Sutton also denied Robbie Findley's scoring chance in the 85th minute.

"It was definitely a tale of two halves," Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis said. "We came out tactically and played that game wrong. The coaching staff takes full responsibility for us coming out and sitting back, when perhaps we should have pressed them from minute one."








  • MLS UPDATE
    REAL SALT LAKE 0
    TORONTO FC 1 FINAL

    GOAL SCORING:
    REAL SALT LAKE - NONE
    TORONTO FC - Laurent Robert in the 31st minute

    CAUTIONS:
    REAL SALT LAKE - Chris Wingert in the 78th minute
    TORONTO FC - Marco Velez in the 73rd minute

    LINEUPS:

    REAL SALT LAKE TORONTO FC

    N

    Apr 19 3:03 PM


  • MLS
    REAL SALT LAKE 0
    TORONTO FC 1 FINAL

    Apr 19 3:02 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 22 roots

    Real Salt Lake 0, Toronto FC 1  2nd - 73'Apr 19 3:02 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    REAL SALT LAKE 0
    TORONTO FC 1
    TORONTO FC SUBSTITUTION: Jeff Cunningham for Danny Dichio
    in the 90th minute

    Apr 19 2:31 PM
  • 22
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 22 roots (Close Finish)

    Real Salt Lake 0, Toronto FC 1  End of Reg.Apr 19 2:31 PM


  • MLS
    REAL SALT LAKE 0
    TORONTO FC 1 HALFTIME

    Apr 19 1:30 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    REAL SALT LAKE 0
    TORONTO FC 1
    TORONTO FC GOAL: Laurent Robert in the 31st minute

    Real Salt Lake 0, Toronto FC 1  1st - 31'Apr 19 1:15 PM