In a must-win game for two teams with dwindling playoff hopes, former Dynamo midfielder Dwayne De Rosario fired off two long-range goals to push Toronto FC past Houston, 2-1, at Robertson Stadium on Saturday.
Known as a clutch player while at Houston, De Rosario struck Toronto's dramatic winner in stoppage time.
After De Rosario had drawn a free kick just outside the box following a quick counter attack, teammate Nick LaBrocca rolled the ball out to his captain, who fired a low, seeking effort past Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad.
Having gone down to an early Brian Ching goal, De Rosario leveled in the 60th minute in a similar situation. From around 25 yards out, TFC won a free kick that again was laid out to the visitors' captain, who found a gap in the wall with his driven shot to knot the game at 1-1.
Houston tallied the game's opener in the 18th minute in typical fashion — off a set-piece. Brad Davis' in-swinging free kick found the head of Ching, who nodded his seventh goal of the year past Stefan Frei. Davis earned his seventh assist of the season.
The first half was as one sided as a 1-0 scoreline could be, with Houston enjoying the vast majority of possession and Toronto appearing flat early. The Dynamo finished the first half with nine corners and forced six saves from Frei.
Houston nearly doubled its score in the 28th minute off another Brad Davis corner kick. This time Davis found Geoff Cameron, whose header bounced off the grass and looked destined for the corner of the goal. However, Frei made a terrific save to tip the ball over the bar.
Despite the terrible half, Toronto only trailed 1-0 and came out of the locker room intent on turning around the game. In the 58th minute, a De Rosario set-piece found Chad Barrett, whose header hit the crossbar. De Rosario then tied the game two minutes later.
Up next for Houston is a Wednesday night road test against the Kansas City Wizards. Toronto FC continue their CONCACAF Champions League play, traveling for a Tuesday night showdown with Cruz Azul.
Toronto FC (8-10-7) vs. Houston Dynamo (6-13-5)
September 18, 2010 -- Robertson Stadium, Houston TX
HOU -- Brian Ching 7 (Brad Davis 7) 18
TOR -- Dwayne De Rosario 10 (Nick LaBrocca 2) 60
TOR -- Dwayne De Rosario 11 (Nick LaBrocca 3) 94+
Toronto FC -- Stefan Frei, Dan Gargan, Adrian Cann, Ty Harden, Maksim Usanov, Nick LaBrocca, Julian de Guzman, Dwayne De Rosario, Joseph Nane (Martin Saric 46), Chad Barrett (O'Brian White 70), Maicon Santos (Jacob Peterson 77).
Substitutes Not Used: Mista, Nick Garcia, Nicholas Lindsay, Jon Conway.
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Andrew Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Eddie Robinson, Mike Chabala (Adrian Serioux 89), Danny Cruz (Corey Ashe 73), Geoff Cameron, Richard Mulrooney, Brad Davis, Brian Ching, Joseph Ngwenya (Dominic Oduro 66).
Substitutes Not Used: Samuel Appiah, Ryan Cochrane, Cam Weaver, Tyler Deric.
TOR -- Chad Barrett (caution; Reckless Tackle) 29
TOR -- Maicon Santos (caution; Reckless Foul) 53
HOU -- Geoff Cameron (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 79
TOR -- Dwayne De Rosario (caution; Reckless Tackle) 81
TOR -- O'Brian White (caution; Reckless Foul) 89
HOU -- Eddie Robinson (caution; Tactical Foul) 93+
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee's Assistants: Fabio Tovar; Peter Balciunas
4th official: Jasen Anno
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial