Second-half outburst lifts Toronto past Chicago

MIAMI: Benjamin Garre #73 of Manchester City battles for a header against the Bayern Munich in the second half during the International Champions Cup on July 28, 2018 in Miami. – AFP

WASHINGTON: DC United took advantage of an own goal in the 90th minute to earn a 2-1 victory over the visiting Colorado Rapids at Audi Field on a night when Wayne Rooney scored his first MLS goal. United midfielder Ulises Segura was attempting a cross in front of the Colorado goal when his pass deflected off the foot off Rapids forward Niki Jackson and past goalkeeper Tim Howard for the late score. Midfielder Kellyn Acosta, acquired by the Rapids in a trade with FC Dallas on Monday, scored his first goal for Colorado in the 82nd minute to tie the match 1-1. Rooney, making just his second start and fourth appearance for DC United, opened the scoring with a goal between the legs of former English Premier League teammate and foe Howard in the 33rd minute.

Rooney took a pass from Luciano Acosta inside the box on the right side of goal and scored with his right foot. It was Rooney’s fourth goal all-time on Howard, scoring three times when he played for Manchester United and Howard was in goal for Everton. Acosta scored the equalizer when he placed a delicate chip shop off the arm of DC United goalkeeper David Ousted and into the goal. Forward Jack McBean sent a long cross into the box and Acosta chased it down to deliver his second MLS goal this season.

Acosta had a chance to score in the 26th minute but his penalty kick rebounded off the right post. Edgar Castillo earned the shot when he was fouled by DC United’s Junior Moreno just inside the penalty area. Rooney had two chances to score in the second half, but his shot in the 56th minute was deflected by Howard off the left post. Howard then smothered a Rooney shot in the 58th minute. DC United (4-9-5, 17 points) is now 2-1-0 in its new stadium, defeating Vancouver 3-1 on July 14 before losing to the New York Red Bulls 1-0 on Wednesday. The Rapids fell to 4-12-5 (17 points) and have not won since July 1 at Vancouver, going 0-3-2 since then.

Second-half outburst
In another development, Toronto FC picked up its second win over the Chicago Fire in as many weeks, this time collecting a 3-0 result on Saturday at BMO Field in Toronto. After a first half that was lacking in action, Toronto forward Jozy Altidore broke things open with a goal in the 52nd minute. Altidore made the definitive touch after a scramble in front of the Fire’s net to score his third goal in five league games this season. Toronto (6-11-4, 22 points) struck again in the 72nd minute, with Sebastian Giovinco sliding to collect a long cross from Justin Morrow, then making a sliding one-footed touch from just outside the goalkeeper’s box to an open Jonathan Osorio on the other side of the net.

Giovinco collected a goal of his own in the 89th minute, finally hitting the scoresheet after putting shots off the goalpost and crossbar earlier in the game. The three-goal outburst was a good sign for a Toronto FC team that is fighting to stay in the playoff race and is finally recovering after an injury-riddled first four months of the season. Saturday’s game marked the first time since its opening match on March 3 that top playmakers Altidore, Giovinco, Michael Bradley, and Victor Vazquez were all in the starting lineup for a league game.

Chicago (6-12-5, 23 points) played a defensively-focused first half, but couldn’t muster an offensive response after Toronto’s attack took over later in the game. The Fire have now lost five consecutive games, and have just one win in their last eight MLS matches. The two clubs also played last Saturday in Chicago, with Toronto FC collecting a 2-1 victory. Toronto FC has now won consecutive league games for the first time this season. The rivalry between the two Eastern Conference rivals has been one-sided in recent years, as Toronto is now 8-0-1 in its last nine games against the Fire. – Agencies