BMO Field has always been kind to Tosaint Ricketts.
Eight of Ricketts’ 12 international goals have been scored inside that stadium, so it was only fitting that he opened his MLS account in the same building to give Toronto FC a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday.
U.S. international Jozy Altidore provided the assist with a flick-on into the path of Ricketts before the Canadian calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net.
TFC has now won three straight games and extended its home unbeaten streak to eight matches. RSL, meanwhile, has only earned one victory in its previous eight MLS outings.
However, the Claret and Cobalt managed to produce several quality scoring chances. Joao Plata’s effort from point-blank range in the 39th minute was the pick of the lot, but TFC goalkeeper Alex Bono rushed out and blocked the Ecuadorian’s shot.
Juan Manuel Martinez was also lively in the second half, but he was stymied by Bono twice in the final 20 minutes. The visitors mustered 10 shots, with Martinez and Plata leading the team with three attempts each.
Sebastian Giovinco had a pair of chances himself on the stroke of halftime. The first attempt was cleared off the line before the follow-up was blasted wide.
Giovinco registered six shots, but thanks to some solid defending from RSL center back Aaron Maund, the MLS MVP finished the match scoreless. The Italian still trails New York City FC’s David Villa by one goal for the league lead.
The Reds had a penalty shout prior to Ricketts’ strike, as Tsubasa Endoh appeared to be clipped by RSL defender Demar Phillips. Referee Alan Kelly waved away the protests, much to the dismay of TFC’s players and coaching staff.
Those penalty claims were all for not, though, as TFC managed to find the winning goal. It faces the New England Revolution at home on Saturday in its next match, while RSL will battle the Chicago Fire on the same day.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Marky Delgado was everywhere on Wednesday. He was getting stuck in defensively, completing passes and breaking down Real Salt Lake’s back line all night long.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
In the 68th minute, Jozy Altidore won Alex Bono’s goal kick in the air, which found its way to Tosaint Ricketts before scoring his first MLS goal.
MOMENT TO FORGET
Javier Morales provided a lovely through ball for Joao Plata in the 39th minute, but the diminutive attacker took too long to shoot, which allowed Bono to make the crucial save.