FRISCO (AP) – Daniel Hernandez scored for the first time since the 2002 playoffs, converting a penalty kick in first-half injury time in FC Dallas’ 1-0 victory over Toronto FC on Wednesday night.
Hernandez, Dallas’ captain, has five goals in 155 regular-season games in his 13-year MLS career, and was taking his first penalty kick since his college days at SMU in 1997.
“Honestly, I don’t score many goals, but I’ve been trying to practice on them,” Hernandez said. “I’ve always taken PKs in the past. This is my first professional PK, but I just felt like I needed to practice them. More than anything, I’m just happy we were able to get those three points.”
Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman directed SMU before taking over the MLS team in June 2008.
“He played for me at SMU, where he took all the PKs, so I had a lot of confidence in him,” Hyndman said. “He’s captain of the team and there was a lot of pressure and I thought Daniel did a very good job with it.”
Kevin Hartman made seven saves for his third shutout of the season and MLS-record 96th in 15 seasons.
“There were a lot of shots from distance and they were shots that I felt comfortable dealing with,” said Hartman, who has two consecutive shutouts. “I thought we were really good today. It was a blue collar-type effort, we were able to nullify some of their strengths.”
Dallas improved to 4-3-2 and extended its unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1). The club has rallied since 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira broke his right ankle in Vancouver on April 23.
Toronto dropped to 2-4-4 overall and 0-3-1 on the road. Toronto also is winless in Dallas, falling to 0-4-3 at Pizza Hut Park.
“I think we were just unlucky,” Toronto midfielder Tony Tchani said. “They played quite well, but we got unlucky. We just have to focus. Things happen.”
In the second game in five nights for each team, in the midst of a stretch of three in eight days, Dallas scored the lone goal when Hernandez drilled the penalty kick low to the left side of the net as goalkeeper Stefan Frei dove the other way. The penalty was awarded after Toronto defender Adrian Cann took down George John in the box just as Hernandez delivered a cross.
“We started well, we didn’t play bad, but if you have a decision by the ref like that, that is horrible,” Toronto FC coach Aron Winter said. “It makes me upset because we are improving every game, we’re playing well, but with those things you can never win the game. Every week it gets worse.”
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