Soccer  > General Soccer  > Toronto ends CCL run on positive note
October 20, 2010, 11:30 AM
TORONTO -- Nana Attakora's header in the first half was all Toronto FC needed Tuesday to down Arabe Unido, 1-0 and finish third in Group A of the CONCACAF Champions League.

The win wasn't enough to advance Toronto to the quarterfinal stage, but gave the Canadian champions an even 2-2-1 record in their first group stage appearance. L'Impact de Montreal's quarterfinal appearance in the inaugural 2008-09 Champions League stands as the furthest a Canadian club has advanced in the tournament.

Arabe Unido finished in fourth place with three points (1-5).

Attakora broke open an uneventful game in the 30th minute when he capitalized on a defensive mistake. Left unmarked, the Canadian international took a clear header off a free kick from Nick LaBrocca and directed it into the corner past a diving Jose Calderon.

"That's something we worked on in training and it's finally worked for us," Attakora said of the set piece, which included a little stutter step by LaBrocca to throw off the oppostion just prior to the cross.

"The ball was whipped in perfectly and I was fortunate to get my head on it. I knew where the net was I just wanted to get it on target."

That goal broke open a listless game, which didn't see its first shot on goal until the 28th minute. Nicholas Lindsay, who had a strong game against Columbus on the weekend, came inside, went by two players, but sent a roller easily handled by Calderon.

Toronto had chances to stretch the lead in the second half, but couldn't convert. It didn't matter as Attakora's goal proved to be enough against an Arabe Unido offense that was colder than the 48-degree Fahrenheit temperatures at kick off.

Goals have been a challenge lately for Arabe Unido and that continued as they barely tested Toronto goalkeeper Jon Conway. A 2-1 win over Chepo FC in domestic league action on Saturday was the first time since Aug. 29 they scored two or more goals, a streak of six league games. In those six games, Richard Parra's side has scored only four goals.

Arabe Unido won the first meeting between the two teams, 1-0, in a game marred by questionable officiating. With both out of playoff contention, both teams were free to experiment.

Interim TFC head coach Nick Dasovic put the club's youth on display, calling up two players from the club's Academy. Defender Ashtone Morgan started, while Oscar Cordon came on in midfield in the second half to join Lindsay and starting defender Doneil Henry - the first time Toronto has had four Academy players in a game at once. Arabe Unido used five or six players under the age of 19 in this game as well.

"The good thing was we used some young boys tonight which is a good sign of the direction the club is going," said Dasovic. "As a staff we didn't feel worried at all putting them in there. We felt confident and they proved themselves."

The victory, before 10,385, gave TFC a win in its final home match of 2010, as the club will miss the Major League Soccer playoffs. However, it won't be the final soccer game in Toronto as the city will host the MLS Cup on Nov. 21.

Toronto concludes its season Saturday at D.C. United, while Arabe Unido will return to Panama to face Plaza Amador this weekend.

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