[MLS]Toronto reversed its second loss of the season and plunged D.C. deeper into the depths by beating United, 1-0, at BMO Field Wednesday night on a rain-slickened surface perfect for slide tackles but not so conducive to sharp soccer.
Most appropriately, Danny Dichio capitalized on a moment of ineptness by Devon McTavish to score the only goal TFC would need to atone for 4-1 thrashing at RFK April 5. McTavish, who had been out for more than a month with a sprained foot, misplayed a TFC long ball into the goalmouth and Dichio, who hadn't scored in his last four games, outmuscled him to toe-poke a spinning shot that crept past keeper Zach Wells and nestled in the net.
Dichio turned up in his own penalty area in the second half to deflect a point-blank follow-up from Fred, after TFC keeper Greg Sutton had parried Fred's free header served up by a nice ball from Marcelo Gallardo. Fred fired first-time but somehow Dichio got a touch to it.
"He's worked ever so hard recently and he got the goal tonight which he deserved," said TFC head coach John Carver said. "I thought he was outstanding if I'm being quite honest. And it shows you that even if you are getting on in the game that you can still work hard and get your just reward and I thought he got that tonight.
"I have to compliment him on the other side as well, because he made an unbelievable block to win us the game. That's as good as a goal."
United fielded one of its strongest lineups of the season and outshot Toronto, 11-6, yet couldn't scrape out a result. Fred had missed the last three games with a strained hamstring, Luciano Emilio returned after being benched in last weekend's 3-1 loss to Chivas USA, and defender Gonzalo Peralta started alongside McTavish following a one-game personal leave.
Tyrone Marshall, who cleared a Robbie Rogers shot off the goal line in a 0-0 tie with Columbus last weekend, slid to block a shot set up for Santino Quaranta with some nice passing. Sutton caught a bending shot from Jaime Moreno in the second half to snuff out another moderate threat.
The victory ended TFC's five-game homestand, during which it won three and tied two matches, and conceded only one goal. And for the first time in its history, its goal difference is zero (nine scored, nine allowed). It was minus-24 in its inaugural season.
Toronto (4-2-2) and D.C. (2-7-0) do it again at RFK Saturday night.
May 21 in Toronto
Toronto FC 1 D.C. United 0. Goal: Dichio 7.
Toronto FC - Sutton, Wynne, Marshall, Velez, Brennan, Ricketts (Smith, 51), Edu, Robinson, Robert (Dunivant, 64), Dichio, Guevara.
D.C. United - Wells, Peralta, Martinez, McTavish (Mediate, 82), Namoff, Fred (Burch, 74), Gallardo, Simms, Quaranta, Emilio, Moreno (Doe, 85).
Yellow Cards: D.C. United - Fred 29, Quaranta 31.
Referee: Alex Prus.