Greg Vanney knew that this was a game he needed to win, and he adjusted his tactics accordingly. TFC started the game in a resolute-looking 4-2-3-1, with Collen Warner and Benoit Cheyrou taking up deep midfield positions to deal with the threat of Kaka, which by and large looked to be a success. Goals from Delgado, Giovinco, Morrow and two from Jozy Altidore powered the Reds to a comfortable win over the shorthanded Lions.
Right off the hop TFC looked improved, winning second balls and keeping possession better than they had in previous matches, but that started to drop off after only a few minutes.
The game looked a little tentative for most of the first half - Toronto looking terrified to concede a goal, Orlando looking content to hammer the ball forward and hope for the best. The red card to Rafael Ramos in the 36th minute - who put a crunching tackle on Justin Morrow along the left flank - started to change the complexion of the game. TFC turned up the pressure after that, though they were unable to make the pressure tell in the first half. Bradley had a gilt-edged chance just before the stroke of half-time, but Orlando weathered the late storm to take a nil-nil into halftime a man down.
Just after halftime, though, TFC found a breakthrough. Bradley made a strong run to the byline with the ball, sliding it back toward the penalty spot for Marky Delgado to slot home. From there, TFC continued to pressure, with Osorio, Bradley, and Giovinco all having decent chances to make it 2-0. It was the main man who eventually did the business, though, popping a sublime free kick off the far post and into the net in the 56th minute. Giovinco's 17th of the season gave him the confidence to kick on, and TFC continued to look lively after the goal. Orlando weren't totally dead in the water, though, and made several forays into TFC's defensive third, with Lewis Neal and Cyle Larin both having excellent chances to put the ball in the back of the net. In the 71st, Justin Morrow tapped in a nice ball from Michael Bradley after a long passing sequence. By then, it was clear Orlando were out of the game.
Jozy Altidore checked into the game for Jonathan Osorio in the 72nd minute and looked lively and energetic from the start, working hard to get into good areas in the attack. He was rewarded by a long ball and run by Robbie Findley, who earned a penalty which Jozy took and converted for his 8th of the season. The play there saw a second yellow for Adrian Winter (no relation to Aron), dropping Orlando City down to 9 men. Jozy then got his 9th just a few minutes later, again from Findley who volleyed across goal off of a set piece.
From there, TFC held the ball and gently probed the shorthanded Lions, kicking the ball around and keeping possession in Orlando's defensive third. When the final whistle blew, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that TFC are capable of some astounding stuff - even if Orlando did make it a little easy for them.
The Reds will look ahead to their next match at home against Didier Drogba and the Montreal Impact, hoping to keep another clean sheet and get another much needed 3 points in the tight Eastern Conference playoff chase.