FRISCO, Texas — FC Dallas powered themselves to a 1-0 victory over visiting Toronto FC on Wednesday on a rainy night at Pizza Hut Park, thanks to a first-half penalty kick from Daniel Hernandez, the captain’s first MLS goal since 2002.
Just before the stroke of haltime, the hosts were awarded a controversial penalty when TFC midfielder Tony Tchani fouled Brek Shea just inside Toronto’s half. On the ensuing set-piece, Toronto center back Adrian Cann pulled down Dallas defender George John. Official Yader Reyes saw enough to blow his whistle and point to the penalty spot, though TFC assistant Bob de Klerk was ejected from the match for his protestations from the bench.
Hernandez stood over the penalty kick — FC Dallas’ second of the year — and hit a low liner to goalkeeper Stefan Frei’s right side while the Swiss ‘keeper dove left. The goal was Hernandez’s first with FC Dallas.
That marked the lone goal in a match that turned chippy as the rain soaked the pitch. In the 32nd minute, Toronto defender Danleigh Borman nearly scored an own-goal when he slid to clear Shea's cross and nearly poked the ball into the right side of TFC’s net.
As the halftime whistle approached, Shea and Richard Eckersley - who battled for most of the night - both left their feet for to contest a header at midfield. Eckersley ended up barreling into Shea, and received a yellow card for his efforts.
After halftime, Toronto FC came out seeking better possession with playmaker Alan Stevanovic working hard to make something happen for the Canadian side.
Toronto head coach Aron Winter subbed Joao Plata out after only five minutes and brought in Javier Martina to provide more offensive spark, but the move didn't really take, as it was FC Dallas that would be more threatening in a second 45 played mostly in the midfield.
The best Dallas chance came in the 73rd minute when Hernandez flicked a ball to Marvin Chávez that put the Honduran in on goal. Frei was up to the task, however, parrying the shot out for a corner.
Toronto’s lone scoring threat of the second half came two minutes later as Martina sprinted down the right sideline with Mikael Yourassowsky in a two-on-one. FCD defender Jackson Gonçalves dove at Martina as he entered the 18-yard-box, and Martina went down looking for the penalty call. Instead of pointing to the spot, Reyes issued a yellow to Martina for diving.
Toronto FC remain winless in five visits to Pizza Hut Park while FCD extended their unbeaten streak to four games. Now 4-3-2, FC Dallas' home stand continues as they take on Philadelphia on Saturday evening. Toronto FC (2-4-4) return to BMO Field where they will play host to the Chicago Fire.
DAL -- Daniel Hernandez 1 (penalty kick) 48+
TOR -- Richard Eckersley (caution; Reckless Tackle) 36
TOR -- Javier Martina (caution; Simulation) 75
TOR -- Danleigh Borman (caution; Reckless Tackle) 79
DAL -- Ruben Luna (caution; Simulation) 90
Toronto FC -- Stefan Frei, Richard Eckersley, Dicoy Williams, Adrian Cann, Danleigh Borman, Tony Tchani, Julian de Guzman, Jacob Peterson, Nick Soolsma (Maicon Santos 58), Alen Stevanovic (Mikael Yourassowsky 71), Joao Plata (Javier Martina 50).
Substitutes Not Used: Dan Gargan, Matt Gold, Ty Harden, Milos Kocic.
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Jackson Goncalves, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Zach Loyd, Marvin Chavez (Bobby Warshaw 89), Eric Alexander (Bruno Guarda 78), Daniel Hernandez, Andrew Jacobson, Brek Shea, Fabian Castillo (Ruben Luna 65).
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Avila, Moises Hernandez, Ricardo Villar, Chris Seitz.
Referee: Yader Reyes
Referee's Assistants: Chris Strickland; Adam Garner
4th Official: Allen Chapman
Time of Game: 1:56
Weather: Rain and 64 degrees