Danny Koevermans' ninth goal in nine starts kept Toronto FC unbeaten in its last five games as the Reds battled to a 1-1 finish in the Texas heat Wednesday night.
Toronto conceded an opener before the 10-minute mark for the sixth time this season when Dallas defender Zach Loyd connected on a header following a long diagonal from Jackson in the fifth minute. Jackson’s ball into the box was headed across goal by Andrew Jacobson to an unmarked Loyd, who headed past a helpless Kocic.
"We didn't have the greatest start with the poor goal we gave away, but we fought back well with a pretty even first half," head coach Paul Mariner said.
Like he did against New York last Saturday, Koevermans answered before the break when a good sequence around the FC Dallas penalty area eventually fell to the Dutchman at the front post in the 31st.
After a failed clearance from the home side, former FC Dallas attacker Eric Avila whipped in a second cross to Koevermans, whose deflection at the near post handcuffed veteran ‘keeper Kevin Hartman to level the proceedings.
"I can't speak highly enough for my boys," Mariner said. "All we've been through the past few weeks, with the travel and schedule, it's almost physically impossible. What they did tonight, taking the game from Dallas in the second half and later stages of the game, (we) could have nicked it late."
Giving the right side of Toronto’s defence fits throughout the 90 minutes, Colombian winger Fabian Castillo nearly put the Hoops back in front two minutes later. After collecting a pass inside TFC’s penalty area, Castillo cut Jeremy Hall inside before unleashing an effort that Milos Kocic pushed up and off the crossbar before the half.
Castillo had another chance in the 53rd minute after combining in the offensive third before darting into Toronto’s box. A touch away from likely putting Dallas back in front, Richard Eckersley came from nowhere to slide in and break up the play to erase the danger.
"The defence bodes well for the future," Mariner said of his back four. "We played tonight against a very explosive forward line. Whichever way you slice it with Castillo and Brek (Shea), there's a lot of firepower. We fought them very well."
After suffering through multiple lower leg injuries, former league MVP David Ferreira returned to action for the first time since April of last year just before the hour mark. The change provided an immediate lift when the former Colombian international’s through-ball found Shea breaking in behind Toronto’s defence.
Like Eckersley minutes before him, Logan Emory recovered in time to break up the play with a sliding effort before the U.S. international’s clear chance on goal.
Despite playing on significantly shorter rest, Toronto had a go of it during the final 15 minutes.
Danny Koevermans nearly bagged his 10th of the season with a flick header off a corner that Hartman stretched for in the 84th minute. Second-half substitute Julian de Guzman missed inches wide with a left-footed curler from the right edge of the box on the same sequence.
"It's a good result," Koevermans said. "Dallas were ahead one-nil, but we fought back. They had some chances … We had some chances as well, but it was a good game."
Had Luis Silva’s service three minutes into stoppage time found an unmarked Nick Soolsma in front of goal, TFC would have climbed out of last place for the first time this season. Toronto’s first round draft pick just missed connecting with the wide open Dutch winger after the pair were played in behind the Dallas defence.
Toronto will travel to Philadelphia this Saturday for a chance to climb within a point of the Union, who shocked the LA Galaxy with a 2-1 win at the Home Depot Centre Wednesday night.