Photo: Terry Dunfield celebrates the winner against his old hometown club (Giamou/TorontoFC.ca)
TORONTO – Terry Dunfield's header in the final seconds of stoppage time secured a 3-2 win for Toronto FC over the Vancouver Whitecaps after a wild second half.
Dunfield, who was traded by Vancouver to Toronto three days shy of a year prior to the match, found himself in the centre of the box and rose highest to get his head to a corner from Torsten Frings.
The winner came just after TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic missed a punch on a cross lofted into the box that allowed Darren Mattocks to score his second goal of the game and sixth of the season in the 90th minute.
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Video: Watch the Game In Six minutes.
Mattocks also scored five minutes in half to put the Whitecaps into the lead after a deadlocked first half.
But Toronto (3-11-4) came back with goals in the 69th and 72nd minutes. Rookie Luis Silva scored his first league goal to equalize and Frings scored his second of the season to put the Reds into the lead.
Vancouver (8-5-6) still fought on and Lee Young-Pyo rattled the right post in the 85th minute, just before Mattocks' equalizer.
The encounter was the only league game between the two teams this season, though the Reds posted a 2-1 aggregate win over the Whitecaps in the Amway Canadian Championship final.
The clash opened at a slow pace, perhaps feeling the effects of their busy schedules – Vancouver were playing their fourth road game in a row since June 23 and Toronto were playing their eighth game since June 16.
However, the game sprung to later in the first half, particularly with a couple of near misses by Toronto forward Ryan Johnson.
With five minutes left in the half Johnson was put in alone but Joe Cannon came out to make the first big save of the game, followed up shortly by another solid save on Julian de Guzman.
Johnson broke in alone again in stoppage time off a pass from Silva, but his shot hit the right post.
Toronto finished the half a 9-5 advantage in attempts on goal and a 2-0 edge in shots on target.
Vancouver scored in the 50th minute when Mattocks broke free to the right of the goal and forced a save from Kocic. But with Kocic and defender Logan Emory still down, Mattocks recovered the ball and put it into the far corner from a tight angle.
Toronto tied it up 19 minutes later Silva got a foot to redirect Ashtone Morgan’s cross from the left into the far corner of the net.
The equalizer sparked the home side into action and after Silva was fouled not long after, Cannon was forced to save on Frings’ blast on the free kick.
The Reds continued to apply the pressure and when Cannon parried a cross in the 72nd minute, it came all the way out to Frings, who drove home a low shot from outside the area through traffic and past Cannon.
Both teams will resume play on the road on Saturday, with Toronto traveling to New England and Vancouver visiting Chicago.
50' Vancouver - Darren Mattocks
68' Toronto - Luis Silva
72' Toronto - Torsten Frings
90+1' Vancouver - Darren Mattocks
90+5' Toronto - Terry Dunfield
38' Toronto - Luis Silva (caution)
63' Toronto - Terry Dunfield (caution)
71' Vancouver - Alain Rochat (caution)
Toronto - Milos Kocic; Jeremy Hall (Doneil Henry 29'), Richard Eckersley, Logan Emory, Ashtone Morgan; Terry Dunfield, Julian de Guzman (Eric Avila 60'), Torsten Frings, Luis Silva; Danny Koevermans, Ryan Johnson ... Unused substitutes: Quillan Roberts; Aaron Maund, Miguel Aceval, Matt Stinson
Vancouver - Joe Cannon; Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour, Jordan Harvey; Alain Rochat, Barry Robinson, Gershon Koffie; Camilo (Michael Nanchoff 82'), Darren Mattocks, Sebastien Le Toux ... Unused substitutes: Brad Knighton; Etienne Barbara, Jun Marques Davidson, Greg Klazura, Carlyle Mitchell, Russell Teibert