Toronto ties Earthquakes, remains unbeaten at homeJul 19, 2008 - 10:32 PM By Bart van Veghel PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
Toronto FC heavily outshot the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday but could not push a goal across as the teams played to a 0-0 draw at BMO Field.
With the match played under sloppy conditions due to early rain, Toronto controlled play throughout, outshooting the visitors, 11-4.
Toronto (6-6-4) had its best chance to break the tie in the 70th minute, but Amado Guevara could not convert a penalty shot as San Jose goalkeeper Joe Cannon made a diving stop.
"When you know players, you try to pick up their tendencies," Cannon said. "I just went with what I thought was right, went with my gut. I'm glad I did."
The draw ran Toronto's winless streak to five games, while the Earthquakes (3-9-5) are winless in their last seven contests.
"We're frustrated, but we're going to continue throwing the kitchen sink at teams and hope for the best," Toronto defender Jim Brennan said. "We're a tight-knit group and we can come back from this."
San Jose had the best chance of the first half with a free kick in the 19th minute on the edge of the 18-yard box. With former Toronto midfielder Ronnie O'Brien providing a dummy, newly acquired Brazilian Francisco Lima sent a left-footed strike just over the top of the goal as Sutton stood frozen on his line.
Guevara nearly put the home side ahead in the 33rd minute, when the ball fell fortuitously to his feet while he stood awaiting a cross from Rohan Ricketts. Not expecting the ball, Guevara sent a volley sky high over the net, much to the shock of the home fans.
Toronto nearly opened the scoring in the 52nd minute as Ricketts was sent in alone. But he failed to convert his final touch, shooting it straight into the diving arms of Cannon.
The game was highlighted with sloppy play on set pieces as neither team could put together anything positive on numerous free kick opportunities in close. This was ever so prevalent when Toronto was awarded a questionable penalty kick in the 70th minute after a foul by San Jose defender James Riley, which Guevara failed to convert.
"It was the second penalty I have missed in my entire career." a disappointed Guevara said.
San Jose's newest acquisitions, Lima and Darren Huckerby, both were taken out in the 63rd minute. The much talked-about imports failed to make a stir in their Canadian debuts.
"I thought the two of them played well considering their fitness," said San Jose assistant coach Ian Russell, who guided the team in place of suspended coach Frank Yallop. "They've both been out of commission for six weeks, so we're looking forward to them coming back. We were also very happy with getting a point, seeing as we were under a fair amount of pressure."
Yallop was serving a one-game suspension for being ejected from the team's last contest. Former Rookie of the Year Maurice Edu also sat out for Toronto after receiving his fifth caution of the season against the Chicago Fire earlier that week.
Both teams now have a break as the MLS All-Star Game takes place Thursday night at BMO Field. Brennan will be the lone representative from both squads.
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