2011 Jun 18

Montero free kick in the 90th minute wins it in Toronto

Toronto FC  0 - 1  Seattle Sounders FC
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

90' SEA: Fredy Montero

Toronto: Stefan Frei; Richard Eckersley, Doneil Henry, Ty Harden, Danleigh Borman; Nathan Sturgis (Oscar Cordon 45'), Alen Stevanovic (Javier Martina 71'), Mikael Yourassowsky (Dan Gargan 90'); Nick Soolsma, Maicon Santos, Joao Plata.
Substitutes not used: Milos Kocic, Dan Gargan, Ashtone Morgan, Matt Gold, Matt Stinson.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (sent off 49'), Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl; Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans (Erik Friberg 71'), Lamar Neagle (Zach Scott 52'); Mike Fucito (Alvaro Fernandez 69'), Fredy Montero.
Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Leo Gonzalez, Pat Noonan, Nate Jaqua.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Fredy Montero's 90th-minute free kick was good for the lone point on the scoreboard and three points in the standings. It was a surprising win for the Seattle Sounders FC, on the road at Toronto FC and playing almost the entire second half a man down after Jhon Kennedy Hurtado took Seattle's first red card of the season for a second yellow.

Kasey Keller didn't have a lot to do to earn the shutout, but he does owe thanks to the goal post for rejecting Toronto's best shot.

Seattle hit the post, too, in just the second minute when Mike Fucito streaked in for a throw-in and from 15 yards bent it the wrong way and saw it glance off the wrong side of the far post.

At 11' for Toronto, Mikael Yourassowsky's dive in the penalty area after a fair charge by Hurtado was not good enough for a penalty kick and not bad enough for a yellow card. Ex-Husky defender Ty Harden did earn a yellow card when he knocked over Keller in the goal area as Keller was waiting for a popup to come down.

Toronto's first shot came midway in the first half as Maicon Santos head-flicked a long cross towards the post, and Keller had it covered for the save.

Toronto defender Danleigh Borman was next in the book with a yellow for a studs-first slide into Mauro Rosales' ankle. From Tyson Wahl's free kick, Hurtado's header was deflected out and the corner was defended away.

Toronto's best series in the first half came at 36' when Joao Plata's shot was deflected out for a corner by Hurtado. Off the broken corner kick play, a second-chance shot was deflected up towards the top near corner by Osvaldo Alonso and Keller was there for his second save. The resulting corner kick was headed over the bar by Santos.

Toronto had a late chance in the half when Alonso's foul 25 yards from goal gave ex-Sounder Nathan Sturgis a free kick, which he hit a foot over the top left corner. At time, Plata earned a shot from the left end of the arc and Keller watched it roll a yard wide.

Seattle fell into trouble at the start of the second half when Hurtado got beat and pulled down Alen Stevanovic. The second yellow was probably a bit harsh, but all's well that ends well, and Hurtado will get a rest for the next match. To restore a back four, Seattle sent in Zach Scott and pulled left mid Lamar Neagle.

Surprisingly, Seattle took the momentum despite being a man down. A long cross from Montero was headed inches over the bar by Fucito at the hour mark. Ten minutes later Brad Evans hit a shot on goal, but took a hit in the ankle on the shot and was replaced by Erik Friberg. Alonso saw a channel for a shot from a Rosales corner kick served to the near side, but Stefan Frei was there for the save.

Toronto finally took advantage of their superior numbers at 75'. First, Nick Soolsma headed a long cross on goal for their first shot of the half, but it went right to Keller. Santos tried from 35 yards but floated it over the bar. At 81' Plata's cross was blocked by James Riley, with the rebound going to Borman, who was up on the left to chip a cross to substitute Javier Martina. Martina was open, but his shot at the top near corner rebounded off the inside of the post and the rebound was cleared out for a corner by Riley. The corner went for naught.

Seattle took back the initative for the last five minutes of clock time. After a few chances, the goal came from a free kick.

90' SEA: Montero. Montero took the free kick, 23 yards out and just right of the arc. He bent it around the wall and into the top near corner, the ball grazing the post on the way in, too high and out of reach of Frei's dive. Montero had missed a similar chance in the previous match -- he perhaps had his boots recalibrated for this match. 1-0 Seattle.

Four minutes were added, and Toronto's only chance was sliced well wide by Plata.

          TOR  SEA
Shots:     18   10
Saves:      3    3
Corners:    5    4
Fouls:     18   10
Offsides:   0    0

18' TOR: Harden cautioned for charging into Keller
26' TOR: Borman cautioned for a studs-first slide into Rosales' ankle
34' SEA: Hurtado cautioned for a tactical foul on Yourassowsky
49' SEA: Hurtado cautioned for pulling down Stevanovic and sent off for his second caution
65' TOR: Yourassowsky cautioned for a tactical foul on Montero
90' TOR: Cordon cautioned for a foul on Rosales as he was killing time in the corner

Referees: Yader Reyes; Craig Lowry, Corey Rockwell; Fotis Bazakos

Attendance: 21,839

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

What's your overall assessment of the game?: "I thought in the first half our play was spotty and we didn't play with a lot of energy, it looked like we were the team that had played 3 games and not them. So that was one of the things we spoke about for the second half was picking up the tempo and playing a lot better. Obviously a lot changes with Jhon getting his red card early in the second half and forced our hand a little to make changes. But I thought the team showed a lot of resiliency and battled. They had a good chance that came off the post, sometimes you have to be a little lucky also and it was a great effort from them. Plata was giving Riley some problems out there also on the flank, but we held firm and ended up getting a great goal from Montero at the end."

What does it say about your team as you were the team pressuring in those last 5 minutes with free kicks and corner kicks and not defending?: "I thought that the guys that came in did a great job of holding the ball and keeping possession. There was a time in the game where we were concerned as they had the majority of the play and were attacking us and in the 75th minute it just changed a little bit. We were able to get some possession, hold on to the ball with some combinations getting players forward. I think they had too many players forward thinking they would control easily and we did a good job of letting their center backs hold the ball and look for the turnovers."

On his shorthanded strategy: "We subbed in Zach Scott, and we moved into a 4-4-1. Then we brought in Alvaro and we told him to tell Freddy just to drop back ... and not to pressure their center backs, just to let their center backs have the ball...We told both Friberg and Alvaro when they went into the game, 'We're looking to get corners, we're looking to get free kicks, we're looking to get set pieces. Take your time. Each one of those is an opportunity.'"

On wearing shale kits: "We were asked to wear the shale tonight, so we decided to wear the shale. We've only worn it once before, in Columbus. I don't know, maybe it's to help sales, I don't know. They asked us to wear shale, so I didn't have a problem with it."

Mauro Rosales

How big was that being a man down and getting a win?: "For us getting three points away is very important, we worked very hard because we lost a man in the second half. I think we deserved it because of how we worked in the last 45 minutes and in the last part of the game and we are very happy about that."

It has been a while since Fredy has got one, are you hoping he's one of these goal scorers who gets one, then gets several?: "Yes, this is why everyone gives such congrats to him, he deserves it. He scores some goals and works very hard for the team. Sometimes he doesn't score but he is working very hard for us, he's the team's top scorer so he has to score otherwise nobody can notice. But now he's proved he's a very good player and he has to enjoy it and be comfortable for the next one."

On the game: "For us, to get three points away is very important. We worked very hard because we lost a man in the second half. I think we deserve it because of how we worked for the last 45 minutes. We ran a lot. We deserve it and we are very happy about that."

On Montero's breakout goal: "This is why everybody (congratulated) him. He also deserved it. He's working a lot for the team. Sometimes he doesn't score, but he's working hard for the team. The top scorer has to make goals, otherwise his work nobody can see. Now he's proved he's a very good player. Now he has to enjoy it and be calm for the next one."

On Schmid calling him the man of match: "I have to run because I was in the middle without company. In the last part I was very tired, but everybody makes 10 percent more effort when we lost a guy like Kennedy."

Fredy Montero

On the goal: "I think I was working very hard to get a goal. Today, I just want to say 'Thanks, God, for that amazing goal.' Those three points help the team to get close to the playoffs."

If this one could lead to more ahead: "Sure. Thatís what I'm thinking right now. After you score this goal you have to believe in what you do, your job with the team, and score more goals and you can win more games."

On if his goal gives everyone a more pleasant flight home tomorrow: "We have time to sleep and dream about this game."

Kasey Keller

I'm trying to remember if I ever was in a situation where we ended up winning a game from a man down. We've held onto games obviously, but actually winning: It's a little special. A lot of credit. The guys played well."

Mike Fucito

On his near-miss in the second minute: "I struck it well, I just pulled it a little bit. I knew I wanted to go to that far post. I didn't want to hit the post, but if that's an inch to the left maybe that's in."

Toronto FC

Aron Winter - Head Coach

On if he thought his team deserved a better result: "Sometimes you have games like this, and it's hard that you lost because you deserve more than defeat."

On what happened leading up to Seattle's goal: "We were playing with one man more, and they were playing to keep the ball up front. At that moment it was not clever for us to give a foul in front of the box. I think that the wall was not good enough, or Stefan could have had the ball. They score from that and it was unnecessary."

On what positives, if any, he takes from the match: "A lot of things, because even when you have lost the game, you are watching to see if we are making improvements. Its also difficult when you have players injured and have to count on the younger ones. The young players did well today, though Oscar had some difficulties, but I saw a lot of good things."

On the play of Doniel Henry and Ty Harden in central defense: "It's a good couple, they look like they have played a long time with each other. I'm satisfied with them."

On his thoughts at the midpoint of the year: "I'm still saying we are rebuilding, and it's clear that once the window opens we will have to get some players because we need them. Right now we don't have enough quality, and we are missing a leader on the pitch. That's why it was a loss today that we could not play with Alan Gordon who was out with an injury, because he is one of the guys who is a leader on the pitch. I think we are much better when he is playing."

Stefan Frei

Describing the goal: "Well the goal itself, all credit to Montero, it's a good free kick but I don't like the way we gave away the foul, I don't even know if it was a foul. It is the 90th minute and the guy goes down extremely soft. Obviously being down a man they are looking for that, and I think the referee falls for it. I let him know at the end of the game that games are getting decided too many times with stupid decisions."

On if there are positives to take from the game: "It's a tough result because I think we deserved the win, not just the tie but the win. We fought pretty deep and played pretty well. We've had a tough stretched but finally showed some consistency, so that a positive, but it will be tough to bounce back from this. I think today would have been a perfect opportunity for us to get something going offensively. It was a great day, great crowd, and we're facing a team that's down a man. It was an opportunity to get some goals scoring and get some confidence offensively, so it was a missed opportunity in that aspect."

On the team's thoughts on making playoffs: "You're in it as long as you're mathematically in it. The East especially is very tight, so a win here and there, a lucky bounce here and there like Seattle had today, with a good finish at the end of it. That can get you three points and get you right back into the race."

Richard Eckersly

On moving forward from the loss: "We just have to come Monday back to training, get back to the basics and start again, and get ready for the game Saturday, a big game away. We need to start again and just rebuild."

Belief in the rest of the season: "Without a doubt. You've seen the way we can play, we are dominating teams, and its against the run of play really these goals that are coming. Once we stop that we can start winning games and go on a run, and who knows where it will take us."

On accounting for all the dropped points: "I don't think you can. It was a stupid free kick, and obviously he put it away well. But that's football and you just have to get on with it."

On positives from the game: "There is positives, we played good football at times, but it doesn't matter because we need to win games. That is the main thing and if we are not doing that, its no good really."