A late one-two punch from Arturo Rodríguez and Ronaldo Damus earned a 2-0 home win for North Texas SC over Toronto FC II on Sunday night. The result extends North Texas’ lead atop the League One table headed into the home stretch of the regular season.
On a sweltering night at Toyota Stadium, the two sides played an open and even first half. Toronto’s Matthew Srbely hit the bar with a header in the 12th minute, and goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky made multiple fine saves for the Canadian side before the break.
The match appeared to be headed toward a scoreless draw as both teams settled into a lull in the second half, but North Texas won a penalty in the 73rd minute. Rodríguez coolly dispatched the spot kick, sending Klenofsky the wrong way. Damus would polish off a swift attacking move for the Texans 10 minutes later to seal the victory, a league-leading 11th goal for the Haitian striker.
The result moves North Texas five points clear of second-place Lansing Ignite in the standings and pushes them ever closer to securing the top seed in the playoffs. The win was also a measure of revenge -- Toronto FC II were the only League One team that North Texas had not yet beaten entering the contest, with the two earlier encounters this season ending in a 3-2 defeat and a 3-3 draw for NTX.
At the other end of the table, Toronto II’s winless streak has now reached seven matches. With a gap of seven points between themselves and the playoff places, the Canadian club needs to turn things around quickly, and will have the chance to do so at home against Chattanooga Red Wolves next week.