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TFC hosts DCU in basement battle

4:14 PM, Sep 27, 2013   |    comments
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Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - A pair of Eastern Conference cellar dwellers clash on Saturday as Toronto FC welcomes D.C. United to BMO Field.

Toronto FC has struggled mightily this season having won just four games to sit in ninth place in the East with 23 points. The club is coming off a 2-1 defeat against Sporting Kansas City last week.

Toronto FC fell behind just 18 minutes into the contest when C.J. Sapong got loose in the TFC penalty area for a free header past goalkeeper Joe Bendik to give the visitors the lead.

The home side pulled one back in the 38th minute through Darel Russell, but SKC engineered a winning moment in the 53rd minute when Sapong once again got the better of the TFC backline and headed in his second of the game via a cross into the Toronto box from right back Chance Myers.

"It was always going to be a mistake game," Toronto head coach Ryan Nelsen said. "It was a game where whoever makes the most mistakes was probably going to lose the game. Unfortunately we gave away two really soft goals."

D.C. United, meanwhile, is coming off another defeat -- their 20th of the season -- in a 2-1 setback against the New England Revolution last weekend.

United struck first in the 11th minute to claim its first away lead of the campaign with some help from the Revolution defense.

Luis Silva created a yard of space on the right and curled a cross into the penalty area. New England defender Stephen Caldwell lunged to clear, but he poked the ball back past the onrushing Matt Reis to hand United their first road advantage since Oct. 6, 2012.

But the home side responded with the equalizer 10 minutes into the second half as Diego Fagundez made a clever run to latch onto Saer Sene's through ball. The blossoming midfielder made no mistake to bring his side level and notch his 11th goal of the season.

New England then claimed the winner seven minutes from time as Lee Nguyen dispatched a penalty kick to hand the home side a crucial three points.

"What do you want me to say? We had stretches (in the first half.) We had chances. We were going up against too much today. Take that for what its worth," said a frustrated D.C. United coach Ben Olsen.

"I thought, in the first half, we had a little bit of momentum, created some opportunities, but in the second half they threw a lot of numbers at us," United midfielder Chris Pontius added. "When we did win the ball, we weren't clean enough with it, coming out of it. Then you get heavy legs and make it even harder on yourself. So we just weren't able to do the simple things in the game to really pressure for ourselves."

The Sports Network

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