DC United rise to 4th place in Eastern Conference with shock win at Toronto

TORONTO—What a difference a week can make.

D.C. United came into Toronto on Saturday night in strong form, but few would have expected them to return home with the full points, after a convincing 2-1 victory – never mind a perfect 9-of-9 over the past seven days.

“We're thrilled with the result, the effort, with the nine points in a week. Very good week for us,” said D.C. head coach Ben Olsen. “It wasn't easy today, Toronto is a very good team, even without [Sebastian] Giovinco. For us to get a result here shows a lot of character. [TFC] certainly dominated the game for long stretches, but we held together.”

“We've played some really good stuff [on Wednesday], but here it was more about winning, a little bit, ugly. Countering a team that was, on the day, better than us and put us in some tough situations. Being able to win different ways is important in this league.”

The win was not only their third-straight – after home defeats of Orlando City and Columbus, they've stretched an unbeaten run at RFK to five matches, while snapping a nine-game winless run on the road. Saturday's victory marked just their second away from home this season. 

Toronto took the lead after a tentative opening half-hour through Jozy Altidore, but Lamar Neagle responded almost immediately, levelling just three minutes after the deadlock had been broken.

And it was Neagle again who found the game-winner come the second half – registering his sixth goal in the last eight matches for D.C.

“[Lamar] keeps his head down; keeps working,” said United 'keeper Bill Hamid. “A lot of his goals have come off the bench; he’s the second half killer. He’s playing extremely well. He’s in great form. He’s a great finisher and hats off to him.”

Said Olsen: “He's finding very good spots. His movement off the ball is trouble for teams. He is one of the better finishers in the league – that's one of the reasons we got him, we knew he had a real final project.”

With Neagle bagging goals, just a single loss in their last 12 matches, and a statement of intent by dispatching TFC on their home turf, no one will want to face this D.C. side come playoff time.

“We are very resilient; we fear no one. We defend very well, are very disciplined in the back,” Hamid said. “We got a lot of heart. We just got to continue this form and we are going to be okay.”