TORONTO - It seemed like it was going to be another late-game collapse from Toronto FC.
The Reds had fought back from going 1-0 down to take a 2-1 lead into stoppage time, only to watch helplessly as Vancouver rookie Darren Mattocks scored his second goal of the match to pull the Whitecaps level.
The collective groan from the BMO Field crowd had barely ended when Terry Dunfield, the much-maligned former Whitecaps midfielder, rose above the crowd and connected with Torsten Frings' corner kick in the 95th minute to put Toronto up 3-2.
It was the last action of the match, as referee Fotis Bazakos blew his whistle to end the game immediately after the restart, giving Dunfield the winner against the team - his hometown side - that had traded him to TFC just over a year ago.
"Incredible," Dunfield said with a huge grin. "That was something I'll never forget."
The last-gasp marker was the 30-year-old's first for TFC, and only his second since debuting in MLS with the Whitecaps in March 2011. His other league goal came in his - and Vancouver's - first game in Major League Soccer, against Toronto.
"I'd be lying if I didn't say if there's one team I could score the winner against, it'd be Vancouver, and in extra time like that," he said. "The script is written maybe, I don't know."
Toronto coach Paul Mariner, who has shown faith in the hard-working Canadian international since taking over the reigns from Aron Winter last month, said the goal was well deserved.
"How many times have we seen an ex-player score a goal against his old team? I'm pleased for everybody, but I'm pleased for Terry because it meant a lot to him," Mariner said.
The bench boss was full of praise for his players' work ethic in a roller coaster second half that produced all five of the game's goals, as the Reds and Whitecaps traded blows in an exciting affair.
"I think we played our best football in the last 10 minutes, and then you can see what response you get from these lads," Mariner stated. "I ask them for a big effort and they gave it to me."
Toronto will have little time to celebrate the rare victory: The team heads to New England for a Saturday clash with the Revolution.
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- Terry Dunfield
- Torsten Frings