TORONTO – FC Dallas are still in first place in the West, but they'll be stunned to be leaving BMO Field without all three points after Toronto FC staged a thrilling comeback on Saturday afternoon that ended in an unlikely 2-2 draw.
Justin Braun and Darel Russell both scored in the final six minutes to salvage a point for TFC and kept them unbeaten at home after a game in which they had looked disjointed, listless and frustrated in attack.
The dramatic goals cancelled out a rampant performance by FC Dallas in which Andrew Jacobson and Blas Pérez scored on either side of halftime to put the visitors out in front. After smacking the crossbar just minutes earlier, Jacobson hammered home in the 34th minute after a headed flick from Kenny Cooper off Michel's corner kick found the midfielder unmarked in the box.
Dallas kept generating chances throughout the opening half against a struggling TFC side who were missing two regular starters, Terry Dunfield due to injury and Danny Califf out with the flu.
Toronto head coach Ryan Nelsen attempted to kick-start his team’s offense in the second half with the insertion of Luis Silva in place of rookie Jonathan Osorio, but the decision to bring on the sophomore attacking midfielder didn’t produce the immediate magic that it has the previous week against the LA Galaxy.
FC Dallas struck again in the 59th minute when Toronto midfielder John Bostock lost the ball was dispossessed by Michel. The ball ended up at the feet of Dallas midfielder Jackson, who then sent a long ball over the top to Pérez, who beat TFC defender Russell and made no mistake in scoring his second goal of the season.
Toronto finally showed some life in the final minutes of the match, as the Reds pulled one back in the 85th minute after Matt Hedges’ ill-timed headed attempt to clear bounced past ‘keeper Raúl Fernández and enabled late substitute Braun to score on a header in his first appearance of the season.
The home side then completed a truly miraculous comeback in the 90th minute when Russell transformed himself from goat to hero with a single shot. The Toronto fullback blasted the ball from 21 yards out past Fernández to change the face of the game entirely.
FC Dallas still improve to 13 points and remain in first place in the Western Conference, three points ahead of idle Chivas USA. They next face the Galaxy at FC Dallas Stadium on April 13. Toronto FC, meanwhile, travel to Philadelphia that same day.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Andrew Jacobson (DAL)||A dominant force going both ways, disrupting TFC's attack in first half and opening the scoring.|
|2||Luis Silva (TOR)||It was no accident TFC roared to life after he was inserted after halftime. He was the catalyst.|
|3||Jackson (DAL)||Attacked Darel Russell mercilessly all game, and his chip to Pérez for Dallas' second was a beauty.|