Dallas got its first opportunity early in the match off of a free kick from Mauro Diaz in the third minute. The midfielder connected with fellow-Argentine Maxi Urruti running through the penalty area, but Urruti’s right-footed chance was denied by goalkeeper Clint Irwin’s diving save.
It was Jesse Gonzalez getting into the action with a diving save of his own in the fifth minute as Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco found Tsubasa Endou streaking between the Dallas center backs with a cross from the right side. His strike with the right foot was corralled by the 20-year-old Homegrown.
Toronto threatened in the 20th minute as Jozy Altidore redirected a pass from defender Damien Perquis with his heel to Giovinco. The reigning MLS MVP’s chip attempt from the edge of the penalty area on the right side of the field went just over the crossbar and Gonzalez’s outstretched arm, and out for a Dallas goal kick.
The home side scored the lone goal of the match in the 28th minute, as Giovinco again sent a cross to Endoh into the penalty area. The curling kick went just out of reach of Dallas’ Walker Zimmerman, who was attempting to clear the ball with a header, and right to Endoh, just inside the penalty area. The forward brought the ball down right his right foot and put a shot past Gonzalez with his left for his first goal of the season.
Dallas tried to answer late in the half after TFC’s Will Johnson fouled Mauro Diaz inside Dallas’ attacking third of the field. Victor Ulloa, wearing the captain’s armband for the fourth-straight game, took the set piece and connected with Canadian international Tesho Akindele inside the penalty area, but his header missed its target inches to the left and was corralled by Irwin before crossing the end line.
In the second half, defender Zach Loyd rose to the occasion, breaking up a counter-attack opportunity for Toronto FC in the 60thminute. Diaz sent a ball to Kellyn Acosta off a Dallas corner kick and the Homegrown’s ensuing shot was blocked inside the penalty area, re-directing to TFC’s Jozy Altidore out near midfield. Altidore hit Giovinco in stride as he ran towards the Dallas penalty area, but Loyd made a charge back towards his own goal, making a clean tackle on Giovinco just inside the 18 to deny an opportunity.
Toronto did get a shot towards goal one minute later as the roles were reversed between the home side’s forwards. Giovinco, this time, sent a pass to Altidore as he split the Dallas back line on the counter. The 26-year-old quickly changed directions, losing FCD’s lone defender back, Loyd, and took a shot that was stopped by a diving Gonalez, coming well off his line to break up the play at the top of the area.
Dallas sent things the other way with a chance in the 66th minute as Fabian Castillo broke through the Toronto defense, finding himself one-on-one with Irwin. The Colombian attempted to chip a shot over Irwin, who had come off of his line near the penalty spot, but Irwin was able to get just enough on the shot to push it over the bar behind him with his hand.
In the 87th minute, it was a scary moment for FC Dallas. Giovinco forced a turnover, then worked his way to the center of the pitch before taking a shot on goal from distance. Gonzalez blocked the shot, pushing the ball upwards and then covering it on the ground in the Dallas goalmouth. Toronto FC’s Will Johnson made a late attempt at the ball and collided with Gonzalez, for which he was issued a yellow card. The FCD keeper was stretchered off the field, and out of substitutions, defender Ryan Hollingshead took over in goal for the visitors as they played the rest of the match with 10 men.
Hollingshead was called upon in goal twice during the final two minutes during a total of six minutes of stoppage time for Dallas – first making a stop on a Giovinco free kick from distance on the left flank and then, moments later, with a diving effort on a chance from Will Johnson inside the penalty area while the forward was under pressure from Loyd.
Dallas would put up 10 shots in the contest, but could not overcome the first-half goal from Toronto.
TOR: Tsubasa Endoh (Sebastian Giovinco) – 28′