ORLANDO, Fla. – The Houston Dynamo registered yet another preseason victory on Thursday with a 3-2 victory over Toronto FC to close out the first day of the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The Dynamo’s victory sets up an all-Texas MLS final on Saturday night as Houston will meet FC Dallas, 1-0 winners over Orlando City in the opening matchup of the night. Toronto FC will take on Orlando City in Saturday’s third-place match.
After a four-goal first half in which Toronto FC twice took the lead only to see Houston equalize on both occasions, second-half substitute Cam Weaver broke the tie on a header to give Houston the lead for good.
It was Toronto winger Jacob Peterson who got the scoring underway when he ran onto a through-ball into the box and deposited the ball under the crossbar after only seven minutes of play.
Houston midfielder Geoff Cameron equalized seven minutes later when he collected a Lovel Palmer ball into the box. After a perfect chest trap, Cameron rifled a shot inside the right post to equalize at 1-1.
The Canadian club restored its lead on a penalty kick converted by Dwayne De Rosario in the 29th minute after Javier Martina was taken down in the box.
The Dynamo’s equalizer came on the most spectacular goal of the night as Brad Davis applied a clinical left-footed finish, curling a free kick into the top left corner of the goal two minutes before the halftime whistle.
Houston captured the lead for the first time in the 68th minute when Weaver nodded home a cross by Danny Cruz from the right flank to put the Dynamo up 3-2.
Toronto’s attack suffered when De Rosario was substituted after suffering an apparent knock. The best look at goal for TFC came on a shot from 20 yards out by forward Maicon Santos, who put it just high of the crossbar in the 71st minute.
The Dynamo could have added to their lead in the 82nd minute but rookie forward Will Bruin was twice denied by Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who stopped a close-range shot and a header in a span of 30 seconds. Bruin had come into the match early in the first half to replace Brian Ching who came off with an apparent leg injury.
TFC – Peterson 7’
HOU – Cameron 11’
TFC – De Rosario (PK) 29’
HOU – Davis 43’
HOU – Weaver 68’
TOR – Zavarise, caution 77'
HOU – Taylor, caution 91'
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall (Tyler Deric) – Mike Chabala (60’ Jordan Graye), Andrew Hainault (46’ Jermaine Taylor), Eddie Robinson (46’ Bobby Boswell), Kofi Sarkodie (46’ Hunter Freeman) – Brad Davis (46’ Danny Cruz), Geoff Cameron (46’ Richard Edwards), Lovel Palmer (60’ Alex Dixon), Corey Ashe (60’ Josue Soto) – Brian Ching (23’ Will Bruin, 87’ Francisco Navas Cobo), Jason Garey (46’ Cam Weaver)
Toronto FC: Stefan Frei -- Mikael Yourassowsky, Adrian Cann, Nana Attakora (60’ Matt Stinson), Demitrius Omphroy (46’ Dan Gargan) -- Nick LaBrocca (46’ Gianluca Zavarise), Dwayne De Rosario (60’ Oscar Cordon), Ivo de Heus -- Javier Martina (46’ Nick Soolsma), Jamal Gay (61’ Maicon Santos), Jacob Peterson (67’ Plata)
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referees: Craig Lowry, James Conlee
Fourth Official: Joshua Thompson