for this game

Defensive issues sink Red Bulls against lowly Toronto FC

Oct 5, 2008 - 2:38 AM
By James Rogers PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Toronto FC put a dent in the New York Red Bulls' playoff aspirations with a 3-1 victory in a ill-tempered game at Giants Stadium on Saturday.

Toronto, currently languishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference (8-12-7), clinched only its third road win of the season thanks to two goals from Chad Barrett and one from Abdus Ibrahim.

The game, which was marked by seven yellow cards, was the third straight loss for the fourth-placed Red Bulls, again highlighting the defensive frailties in coach Juan Carlos Osorios' side.

New York, which was on the wrong end of a 5-4 decision with the Colorado Rapids last week, nonetheless had the better of the game's early exchanges, and Mike Magee came close to opening the scoring in the 20th minute. The midfielder got a foot on a cross by Jorge Rojas at the edge of the six-yard box, only to be denied acrobatically by Toronto keeper Greg Sutton.

With the home side starting to stamp their authority on the game, the leaky Red Bulls' defense reared its ugly head when Gabriel Cichero botched a simple header back to his keeper Jon Conway, enabling Barrett to chase down the ball and lob it over the goalkeeper to give the visitors an undeserved lead.

Once again forced to chase a crucial game at Giants Stadium, New York started to become frustrated, and Juan Pablo Angel's kick of Toronto's Amado Guevara quickly turned the contest into a shoving match involving players from both teams.

With Guevara still lying prone on the ground, it took referee Ramon Hernandez a few minutes to regain order. The ref, who quickly showed Angel a yellow card for his foul, also booked Toronto's Kevin Harmse for his part in the ensuing scuffle.

In time added on at the end of the half, the Red Bulls came close to an equalizer, but Sutton comfortably saved a weak shot from Mike Magee after good work from Dane Richards.

Just four minutes into the second half, however, New York pulled level when Angel flicked Kevin Goldthwaite's throw-in to Richards. The Jamaican international quickly spun off Kevin Harmse before sprinting into the penalty area and calmly slotting his third goal of the season past Sutton.

The midfielder had a good chance to add to his tally just a couple of minutes later, when Richards raced onto a long ball, but Sutton quickly came off his line to clear the chance.

New York then fell victim to its own aggressiveness. With the home side pressing forward in search of a winner, the Toronto defense knocked the ball forward to Marvell Wynne, who found himself with yards of space near the left sideline.

The midfielder quickly bore down on the Red Bulls' goal, drawing Conway out of position before playing the ball across the field to a wide-open Barrett, who calmly tapped the ball into an empty net in the 65th minute.

At the other end, Angel seemed certain to score when Rojas picked him out with a pin-point cross, but the close-range header found the bottom of the post.

Clearly struggling to deal with the visitors' swift counter-attacks, the Red Bulls fell further behind in the 85th minute when Toronto sub Ibrahim headed Johann Smith's cross past Conway.

After two straight home losses in the last two weeks, the Red Bulls' playoff hopes now rest on a home match against Columbus and tough away games at Real Salt Lake and Chicago.








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