Toronto FC salvages late draw with FC Dallas

Neil Davidson, Canadian Press | 13/04/06
Chris Young/The Canadian Press
Darrel Russell, second from left, was the hero for Toronto FC with the tying goal in the 90th minute to escape with a draw against FC Dallas.

TORONTO — Darrel Russell capped a remarkable Toronto FC comeback with a 90th-minute rocket to give Toronto FC a 2-2 tie with FC Dallas in MLS play on Saturday afternoon.

Dallas (4-1-1) came in as the league’s hottest side and seemed destined to extend its streak until it wobbled in the final minutes.

Russell hammered home a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box off the post and in to beat goalie Raul Fernandez and delight the crowd of 16,111 on a cold blustery day at BMO Field. It was a sweet redemption for the English fullback, who was victimized on both Los Angeles goals in a 2-2 draw.

Substitute Justin Braun assisted on the tying goal, having scored himself just minutes earlier to start the comeback. The big forward, in his Toronto debut, headed the ball in from close range in the 85th minute after defender Matt Hedges failed to cleared.

Toronto (1-2-2) appealed in vain after the Braun goal as defender Darren O’Dea went down in the Dallas penalty box. Then Fernandez robbed O’Dea from in close.

But the goalie had no chance on Russell’s blast.

Andrew Jacobson and Blaz Perez scored for FC Dallas.

Dallas had won three straight, including two consecutive shutouts. Braun’s goal ended the Dallas shutout streak at 272 minutes, the first goal conceded since March 17 in the 83rd minute of a 3-2 win over the Houston Dynamo.

Toronto did not help its own cause for the first 85 minutes, managing virtually no offence and yielding the first goal on a set play and the second on a giveaway.

Dallas has yet to allow a first-half goal in the first six matches of the season, a run that was aided by the fact that Toronto did not attempt a shot on net in the first 45 minutes. Dallas outshot the home side 8-0 (1-0 in shots on target).

The first Toronto shot came in the 52nd minute, a weak long-range effort from John Bostock.

Reinforcements to the Toronto attack are coming, with Argentine Maximiliano Urruti expected to arrive by the end of the month. Dutch striker Danny Koevermans (knee) is expected back in June.

Dallas went ahead on a set piece in the 34th minute after Ferreira was taken down. Goalie Joe Bendik failed to get anywhere close to the ball, which Cooper flicked back to Jacobson who expertly hammered it home from close range.

Dallas began to stretch the Toronto defence and tempers began to flare, with more than a few flops. Perez and Toronto’s Jeremy Hall, meanwhile, had several run-ins.

Toronto replaced Jonathan Osorio with Luis Silva to start the second half,

Bendik looked liked a Cirque du Soleil performer early in the second, flying through the air to haul in a Dallas cross with one hand.

Perez made it 2-0 in the 59th after Bostock lost the ball at centre field to Michel. He sent it over to fellow Brazilian Jackson who floated a pass behind the Toronto defence to Perez and the Panamanian international thumped it home.

Toronto’s career MLS record against Dallas is now 1-6-5. Toronto’s only win came in 2007 in the first meeting between the clubs

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