• Wednesday Sep 14, 2011

    Bravo trio leads Pumas' 4-0 win over Toronto

    MEXICO CITY - Martin Bravo scored three goals and assisted on another - all in the first half, leading Pumas to a 4-0 victory over Toronto FC on Wednesday for its first win in the CONCACAF Champions League this season.

    Pumas, which had employed mostly younger players in its two earlier games - including a 1-0 loss to Dallas at home, used a nearly a full first-choice lineup against Toronto, including seven players from Saturday's 4-0 loss to Queretaro.

    The victory ended a seven-game winless streak for Pumas and pushed in into second place after three games in Group C with four points, three behind FC Dallas, which drew 1-1 at home with Tauro on Wednesday. Toronto fell to third with three points, one ahead of Tauro.

    Pumas had lost four of its previous five and had not won since beating Monterrey on August 3.

    Toronto lost for the third time in its last six games, in which it only one win, and also lost for a second straight time in the Champions League

    Pumas, which hadn't scored more than one goal in a game since its August 3 win over Monterrey, needed 17 minutes to get the lead on Toronto, which played the Mexican side relatively even for the first quarter hour.

    But then Pumas began to exploit a seemingly disorganized Toronto back line with Bravo running onto a touched ball from Francisco "Paco" Palencia at the top of the area, splitting Ty Harden and Andy Iro, turning right at the six-yard line, and dribbling around goalkeeper Milsos Kocic.

    Four minutes later he was instrumental in doubling Pumas' lead, beating Iro to the end line before sending a right-footed flick into the six-yard box where a sprinting Efrain Velarde converted with a simple volley.

    Bravo increased the advantage to 3-0 in the 33rd, outrunning Harden to reach a long diagonal ball out of Pumas' half, letting it bounce twice and volleying back inside the left post from a step inside the 18.

    The 24-year-old Argentine, who leads Pumas with two goals in the Mexican Apertura, surpassed his season total in the 42nd, taking a ball served behind the Toronto defense by Palencia and striking another right-footed diagonal shot past Kocic that nicked in off the inside of the left post.

    Pumas continued to have the better of play in the second half, but with manager Aron Winter replacing Iro with Eddy Viator in the 39th, and inserting Terry Dunfield for Danny Koevermans, Toronto's defense tightened.

    Pumas manager Guillermo Vasquez, likewise, removed Palencia at halftime and then Bravo in the 61st minute.

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