Toronto FC earns much-needed point with 2-2 draw against Houston Dynamo
Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 12:01 am
HOUSTON - A week after Toronto FC came from two-goals down to earn a two-goal victory over the Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC saw themselves down a goal twice in the first half.
This time Toronto was not able to get a win, but they were able to get a much-needed point on the road to extend its unbeaten streak to three games with a 2-2 draw Saturday night.
First half goals by Gilberto and Dominic Oduro were enough for Toronto (7-5-5, 26 points) to earn the draw.
"I'd rather get three points than a goal, but we showed we are a strong team right now," said Oduro. "We fought hard. In this heat, to get a point on a road — any time you get a point on the road is good. We showed we had character today. That's what the coaching staff has been trying to tell us, and that's what we are trying to learn."
Toronto missed a chance to tie the score at two in the 28th minute as Michael Bradley missed a penalty kick off the right post. Toronto was awarded the penalty kick a minute earlier as Nick Hagglund was brought down in the box by Corey Ashe.
Oduro, however, was able to tie it in first half stoppage by chesting a Luke Moore pass into the right net from the centre goalkeeper's box after Moore was able to beat A.J. Cochran down the left endline.
"We know we have the ability to score goals," Toronto head coach Ryan Nelsen said. "I think it was fatigue in that second half that probably dampened our attacking flair. Obviously, that penalty didn't help when that misses. That kind of deflates the team, but they kept going and going and going. I couldn't be happier for the boys, especially when you have to back up a Wednesday and come to Houston in July. That's tough."
Oduro scored his second goal in three games — both in first half stoppage against his former team.
Oduro said his goal was critical and motivated the team going into the locker room.
"It's always good to score against my former team, but that's not the idea of it," said Oduro said. "It kind of helps. It boosted our spirits. I want to score against any team no matter what. Just sometimes, scoring against a former team is a bit bittersweet."
Toronto needed that goal as they were unable to get much going in the second half, with only two shots on net.
Gilberto tied it at one in the 18th minute, taking a pass in the center box from Justin Morrow, dribbling to his right and striking a right-footed shot through traffic and into the left net from 16 yards out.
The goal was Gilberto's second of the season.
"I'm very happy with the result," Gilberto said through a translator. "Happy I scored. I want to continue working hard and providing for the team and to increase my work ethic so I can help on the field."
Giles Barnes put Houston (5-11-4, 19 points) back up in the 26th minute at 2-1, shooting from 25 yards out in the middle and getting it just inside the near post.
Will Bruin gave the Dynamo a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute, capitalizing on a Toronto turnover and beating Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik to the ball on the right side of the goalkeeper's box and hitting it into the left net.
Michael Bradley's header back to the Toronto defence went to Bradley Orr, who tried to back pass it to Bendik, but Bruin was able to knock it free to set up the goal.
Houston, which saw its winless streak stretched to eight games, nearly doubled its lead seconds before Gilberto's goal as Brad Davis headed the ball to himself and turned and fired from the upper left box, but was stopped by Bendik.