Houston Dynamo's Brad Davis kicks a high ball as Toronto FC's Richard Eckersley, left, approaches during MLS action in Toronto, Saturday July 28, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
TORONTO - Calen Carr and Brian Ching each scored as the Houston Dynamo won their fourth straight with a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon under sunny skies at BMO Field.
It snapped Toronto's season-high three-game win streak and denied the home side a club-record fourth in a row. With the loss Toronto remains last in the MLS standings at 5-12-4.
The Dynamo moved up to second in the Eastern Conference at 10-5-7 and are now undefeated in seven games. Houston has conceded just one goal in its past six games.
Toronto came out sluggish in the second half until the 54th minute when Quincy Amarikwa battled for position with the ball in the six-yard box, but was taken down hard by two defenders. The newly-acquired forward pleaded to the refs but to no avail.
Houston continued to maintain possession as midfielder Boniek Garcia fired in a left-footed shot in the 57th that went just wide to the left.
The Dynamo slowed down the pace to protect their lead, though TFC had a chance to level in the 73rd when midfielder Luis Silva put a deflected header just over the crossbar.
Houston widened its advantage in the 86th when Brian Davis set up Ching with a beautiful touch pass and the Dynamo captain put it past TFC 'keeper Milos Kocic with ease to make it 2-0.
In the dying seconds of a tightly-played opening half, Davis sent in a corner kick in the 45th that Houston defender Bobby Boswell deflected to a wide open Carr. The Dynamo forward made no mistake and headed it in from the right side of the six-yard box to the bottom corner of the net.
Carr removed his head gear to celebrate his third goal of the season.
Minutes before, TFC captain Torsten Frings served a corner kick that Doneil Henry put high and wide. Frings did the same with a free kick into the penalty box in the 24th for Ryan Johnson, but Dynamo 'keeper Tally Hall proved up to the task and pulled the ball down.
In the opening minutes, Toronto defender Richard Eckersley thwarted a dangerous one-on-one as Houston's Macoumba Kandji came charging in all alone on Kocic.
Prior to the game, Toronto introduced newly-acquired striker Eric Hassli who came to the Reds via a trade last week with Vancouver. The 31-year-old Frenchman, however, was held out of the lineup to rest an ankle injury suffered while still playing for the Whitecaps.
He'll likely make his debut when Toronto opens its CONCACAF Champions League campaign on Aug. 1 at home against CD Aguila of El Salvador. TFC's next CONCACAF game will be Aug. 28 against Mexico's Santos Laguna, also at BMO Field.
Notes: The Dynamo were missing top goalscorer Will Bruin who didn't play because of an injury. He leads Houston with 10 goals. ... Toronto already has more MLS wins since July 11 than in their opening four months of the season. ... Toronto parted ways with defender Miguel Aceval on Thursday and his contract was terminated by mutual consent. The Chilean made five league appearances this year and had two assists. ... Saturday was the second of three games between TFC and the Dynamo this season. The last game ended in a 3-3 draw on June 20 in Houston. They next meet Aug. 25 at BMO Field.