Toronto FC ended a rollercoaster match tonight on a major low after losing 2-1 to the 9-man San Jose Earthquakes. The Quakes were issued a pair of red cards, one on each side of halftime, but were still able to overcome the visiting Toronto FC for their sixth home victory.
Simon Dawkins was the hero for the Earthquakes, scoring on a late solo effort to give them an unlikely victory. Quincy Amarikwa opened the scoring for San Jose, while Justin Morrow replied for Toronto FC.
The San Jose Earthquakes looked to be up in the seventh minute, but the goal was called back. The ball struck Chris Wondolowski in an offside position, and came off of his hand as well. Toronto FC dodged a bullet, and was able to settle into the match.
San Jose again put pressure on Toronto FC in the 25th minute, when a cross found Amarikwa's head. His header was stopped by Alex Bono, however, and Josh Williams would head the rebound over the bar to clear the danger.
The Earthquakes continued to dominate the flanks, and would get their reward in the 29th minute. This time, Amarikwa made no mistake when a cross was played into the box, as he redirected it past Bono to make the score 1-0. It was the Ex-TFC man's second goal of the season and meant Toronto were once again fighting from behind on the road.
Just before halftime, however, the match would change completely when a very harsh red card was given to San Jose's Anibal Godoy. The Earthquake midfielder tackled Tsubasa Endoh from the side, but made minimal contact and did not seem to have any malicious intent.
Toronto FC took full advantage, to their credit. Steven Beitashour cut down the right flank and played a cross into the box which was flicked on by Jordan Hamilton. It found Justin Morrow in the middle of the box and he slotted home his third goal in five matches to tie the match 1-1.
The Earthquakes would be handed another blow in the 53rd minute, when they were handed yet another red card. On a very similar play, Alberto Quintero would bring down Endoh again, and again would be sent off as a result dropping San Jose down to 9 men.
With space opening up, Toronto FC would put plenty of pressure on San Jose. However, they struggled to break down a well assembled San Jose side who stayed organised.
The Earthquakes stayed patient and took their chance in the 70th minute when Dawkins beat several Toronto defenders and beat Bono with a knuckling effort to put San Jose up 2-1. It was a rather weak goal, and one which seemed to stun Toronto FC.
They failed to put together much in the way of chances after that, and even when they did they were well recovered by the San Jose defence and David Bingham in the San Jose net. Greg Vanney tried to make some substitutions to change things, but it was too little too late.
How much damage the loss ultimately does to Toronto FC remains to be seen, but it could do it to more than just the standings. As it stands, however, Toronto will remain in fifth place in the East until at least Wednesday.