David S. Driver
"Providing my byline by your deadline"
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May 9, 2009
By David Driver
For the Associated Press Sports
Used with permission
WASHINGTON (STATS) - D.C. United let a 1-0 lead slip away at home Saturday, but one of top teams in the Eastern Conference certainly made the most of its substitutions in a 3-all draw with Toronto FC.
Chris Pontius, who entered the game in the 74th minute for the hosts, scored just 12 minutes later to forge a 2-2 tie. After Toronto's Dwayne De Rosario gave his team a 3-2 lead in the 87th minute, Jaime Moreno connected on a penalty kick past goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the 92nd minute for the final score.
Moreno entered the game in the 64th minute for Ange N'Silu, who scored his first goal for United in his second game with the club to make it 1-0.
"There is a lot of heart on this team," Moreno said. "We never gave up."
Moreno's penalty kick came after a handball was called on Toronto defender Marvell Wynne.
"I couldn't see, really," Moreno said of the call. "Someone was in front of me. Obviously they called it. The referee was there. It was=2
0a hand ball. I picked a spot and I was lucky to convert.
"We are disappointed not to win the game but we will take the point," said Toronto interim coach Chris Cummins, who has guided the team to a 2-0-2 mark since replacing John Carver. "Penalites go against you. It is a penalty. I have no complaints."
Pontius and Moreno each scored their third goal of the season for United (3-1-5), which moved to 2-0-3 in its last five matches. D.C. hasn't lost since April 11 at Real Salt Lake.
"We thought it was going to be easier," Moreno said of the game. "It got complicated. We learned the hard way. At the same time, it is good (letting the lead slip) this came this early in the season."
Seven players have scored for United this season and nine players have at least one assist.
"The depth is there," United defender and captain Bryan Namoff said. "But sometimes we are shooting ourselves in the foot."
It was the foot of De Rosario that caused the most trouble for United. He had two goals for Toronto (3-2-4), which has gone four straight games without a loss.
But the visitors appeared on the way to victory after they took a 2-1 lead and then a 3-2 advantage in the 87th minute on the second goal by De Rosario, which came a minute after the goal by Pontius.
Cummins said he was not concerned that two reserves for United scored late against his club.
"We made the
changes we could," said Cummins, who added at least three of his players had come down with food poisoning recently. "We are struggling a little bit."
Each team has not lost for several games, but United felt it let a victory slip away.
"We expect to win at home," said Namoff, who said miscommunication by the United defense helped lead to Toronto's first goal.
D.C. is 5-1-1 all-time against Toronto, including 3-0-1 at home.