March 09, 2013
Toronto FC defender Richard Eckersley dribbles past Sporting Kansas City's Graham Zusi and Paulo Nagamura in Saturday afternoon's game.
Abelimages/Getty Images

New-look Toronto FC gave their fans something to cheer about Saturday afternoon, riding two first half goals to a 2-1 home-opening win against Sporting Kansas City.

Newly signed forward Robert Earnshaw was the star man of the afternoon, scoring both of Toronto's goals, the first coming just three minutes into the match. The Welsh forward was able to intercept a weak sideways pass in the back by Kansas City defender Matt Besler, and had only goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen to beat as he slotted the ball into the back of the net.

As Sporting struggled to gain a foothold in the match, Toronto FC continued to push for a second goal. The pressure paid off when 21-year-old John Bostock was clipped down in the box, leading to a penalty kick which Earnshaw coolly dispatched to double Toronto's advantage.

Kansas City looked a bit more together in the second half after bringing on forward C.J. Sapong to replace Bobby Convey, and it was Sapong that played a key part in their solitary goal on the night. The forward was able to get a flicked header to a long-range freekick in the Kansas City half by Jimmy Nielsen. Sporting's offseason Designated Player signing Claudio Bieler was able to run on to Sapong's flick, finishing quickly on the volley to make things interesting in the 77th minute.

However, a second goal wasn't to come, thanks to resilient defending by the Toronto back line through the remainder of the match.

Sporting Kansas City returns to action on March 16, when the face Chicago Fire at Sporting Park. Toronto travel to play Montreal Impact the same day.

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