Terry Dunfield put in a header in the 85th minute to give Toronto a 1-1 draw against the Dynamo Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The result means Toronto (5-15-6, 21 points) has gone six MLS games without a win. But it always means the team has earned two points on the road this season against the Dynamo (11-6-9, 42 points), a team in sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference. The two sides drew 3-3 on June 20.
Toronto head coach Paul Mariner said he was pleased with the tie.
"I am very proud of the players," he said. "I thought we played very well tonight for 90 minutes. We knew we were going to have play well against a very good Houston side.
"Yeah, we didn’t get the win, but to come here twice now and get points ... There is no reason we can’t put a run together now."
Dunfield’s header came from eight yards out after a pass into the box from Darren O’Dea. Dunfield headed it off Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall’s glove, off the bottom of the crossbar and in.
"It’s too bad it wasn’t a winner, but I felt we really deserved a point tonight," Dunfield said.
Toronto created eight shots on the night, with four on goal, compared to Houston, which had 15 total shots and also four on goal.
Despite being at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and without any realistic chance of making the MLS playoffs, Dunfield said Toronto is still fighting for their lives and their jobs every game.
"It is difficult at the bottom," Dunfield said. "When you are down there, you don’t get some of the breaks that you do get at the top of the table. We have been unfortunate over the last couple weeks. We have given ourselves something to build on."
Toronto came from behind to earn the draw after Will Bruin put the Dynamo ahead 1-0 in the 21st minute, chipping a shot from inside the box over the head of Toronto goalkeeper Freddy Hall, who was making just his second straight start.
Despite allowing the goal, Hall finished with three saves.
"I felt much more comfortable, especially with the backline," Hall said. "I thought we did a good job here and were very organized and limited to them a few chances and did good.
"Whenever you concede a goal you are heartbroken, but we bounced right back and moved the ball well today. It was a good performance overall."
Houston has been dangerous on set pieces this year, but Toronto, who was resting four regulars in preparation for Tuesday’s Champions League game against Santos Laguna Tuesday in Toronto, didn't allow the Dynamo to score off 10 corner kicks in the game.
"Its something we have been working on over the last couple weeks," Dunfield said. "We have gotten the reputation for being a bit soft on set pieces. That’s a few games where we haven’t conceded."
Despite being pleased with getting a point and snapping the two-game losing streak, Toronto was still a bit disappointed to not get more.
"We came for three," O’Dea said. "Obviously, we knew how tough it would be. We fought for our point, and we could have had more."