FC Dallas grind out a win against Toronto FC

The Texas-based side found a way to score and then fend off Toronto FC to extend their unbeaten run.

FC Dallas grind out a win against Toronto FC
FC Dallas only needed one goal tonight | Source: Steve Russell-The Toronto Star
Toronto FC
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FC Dallas
Toronto FC: Irwin; van der Wiel, Bradley, Mavinga (Hagglund, min. 45), Auro, Osorio, Fraser (Hamilton, min. 86), Vázquez, Tefler; Ricketts (Chapman, min. 59), Giovinco.
FC Dallas: Gonzalez; Cannon, Hedges, Ziegler, Figueroa; Acosta (Gruezo, min. 73), Ulloa, Hayes; Barrios (Lamah, min. 68), Urruti, Mosquera (Diaz, min. 79).
SCORE: 0-1, min. 11, Urruti.
REFEREE: Christopher Penso (USA). Yellow Card: Figueroa (min. 16), Telfer (min. 17), Auro (min. 61), Barrios (min. 64), Hedges (min. 67), Gonzalez (min. 79), Diaz (min. 90+6), Grueza (min. 90+7), Urruti (min. 90+8).

FC Dallas came away with a well-earned win as they left a frustrated Toronto FC side in their wake. Maximiliano Urruti got the only goal of the game in the first match of this weekend's round of Major League Soccer matches and his goalkeeper, Jesse Gonzalez, made sure of the points with a string of fantastic saves.

Chances aplenty for both sides

Toronto FC may have started has the stronger side but the missing pieces in their backline meant that every time FC Dallas got forward, they created opportunities for themselves. Sebastian Giovinco signaled Toronto's intent early on as his free-kick in the second minute was saved well by Jesse Gonzalez in FCD's goal. From the resulting corner kick, FCD broke quickly and Michael Barrios should have put the visitors ahead but he sent his effort over the crossbar from inside the penalty area. Gonzalez was then called upon again in the fifth minute where he made an even better save that his first when he prevented Giovinco from putting Toronto in front with his volley.

Jesse Gonzalez was the best player on the field tonight | Source: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Jesse Gonzalez was the best player on the field tonight | Source: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

That save ended up being important for FCD as six minutes later, Maximiliano Urruti opened the scoring. Santiago Mosquera out-muscled Michael Bradley and raced down the field before cutting the ball back to Kellyn Acosta. Acosta's shot was then diverted past Clint Irwin by Urruti and FC Dallas took an unlikely lead.Toronto could have themselves back on level pegging when Matt Hedges brought down Giovinco inside his own area in the 15th minute but Gonzalez stood tall and intimidated the Italian enough to be make him send the ball to where Gonzalez had guessed. 

Both goalkeepers star for their teams

That wasn't the last time that Gonzalez produced a moment of magic for his team in the first half and his counterpart, Cling Irwin, was just as impressive in goal for Toronto. As the half wore on FC Dallas had two opportunities within the space of two minutes to increase their lead but on both occasions, they could not finish some easy chances. At the other end, Gonzalez was the man of the moment in the 34th minute when he first got a hand to Víctor Vázquez's near post header and then was grateful for Tosaint Ricketts' poor touch on the rebound that allowed him to gather the ball.

Irwin was also called upon in the latter stages of the first half as in the 39th minute, Barrios completely blew by Bradley at first, held up the ball and then played a one-two with Jacori Hayes before forcing Irwin to make a point-blank save. Irwin and Barrios squared up to each other again in stoppage time as Urruti played in his teammate beautifully to put him one-on-one with the goalkeeper but again, Irwin came out on top of that encounter.

Toronto FC faded in the second half | Source: Steve Russell-The Toronto Star
Toronto FC faded in the second half | Source: Steve Russell-The Toronto Star

Dallas see out the win as Toronto fade

The second half was a completely different story to that in the first half as neither side tested the goalkeepers on a regular basis. The earliest chance of the half fell to Urruti in the 52nd minute when Gregory van der Wiel for some reason, nodded back towards the FC Dallas man inside his own area. Fortunately for Toronto and van der Wiel, Nick Hagglund had been tracking Urruti's run and got in a tackle before the Argentine could pull the trigger. One minute later, Ryan Telfer almost found the equalizer when he flashed a ball across goal which was begging for a touch but it went just wide of the far post, much to FC Dallas' relief.

Sebastian Giovinco then came closest for Toronto in the second half when his 68th minute free kick rolled just wide of the goal. The No. 10 decided to go under the wall instead of over it, fooling everyone but unluckily for him, his ingenuity did not pay off. Gonzalez was then called into action one last time in the first minute of stoppage time when he got a finger to Jonathan Osorio​'s effort that prevented it from dipping just below his crossbar and giving Toronto the equalizer they were desperately searching for. Clint Irwin got the final chance of the game when he came forward for the last kick of the game as Giovinco set in a corner but the goalkeeper could not keep his header down for what would have been a fairytale goal.