It took Toronto FC eight years to start a season with back-to-back wins.
In front of nearly 22,000 fans in its home opener at BMO Field last Saturday, the local club team defeated Washington D.C 1-0.
Jermain Defoe, the Major League Soccer Player of the Week, netted the game’s only goal in the 60th minute, capitalizing on a rebound from D.C’s goalkeeper, Bill Hamid.
“It’s a day I’ll never forget,” Defoe, who netted both goals in the team’s 2-1 road win in Seattle, said. “I was so much looking forward to the game at home, to see the fans and before the game you just hope you can give something back…I thought today was a great effort from the players. It was a difficult game…The conditions weren’t the best, but to win the game was so important and we did that and everyone’s delighted.”
Toronto FC meets Real Salt Lake on the road in Utah on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, Canada is through to the quarter-finals of the women’s World Cup Under-20 tournament in Costa Rica.
After 2-2 and 1-1 ties with Germany and Korea DPR respectively in their first two matches, the national side defeated Ghana 2-1 last Saturday in its final group match.
Canada played the final 40 minutes with 10 players after Bianca St. Georges was shown the red card for a hard foul on a Ghanaian defender.
“It was a stressful bench, but a very proud bench,” said a very relieved head coach Bev Priestman. “To play 40 and probably 45 minutes with the added time with 10 players, you’ve got to be proud of them…They’ve exceeded my expectations. I knew we could play the way we played but I think the resilience and the defensive work under massive bouts of pressure, they’ve done amazingly.”
This is the third time that Canada is in the tournament’s quarter finals. The national side reached the last eight in 2002 in New Zealand and 2012 in Azerbaijan.
Canada meets Venezuela in the quarter-finals on Thursday, March 27.
In the other quarterfinal contests on the same day, Ghana will oppose Italy, Nigeria will tackle Spain and Mexico will take on Japan.