Calen Carr and Brian Ching both scored as the Houston Dynamo beat Toronto FC 2-0 Saturday for their fourth straight victory.
The Dynamo (10-5-7) moved to second place in the Eastern Conference and extended their unbeaten streak to 5-0-2, having allowed just one goal in their last seven matches.
''We really took advantage of our chances,'' Houston's Brad Davis said. ''Guys were willing to get behind the ball and get on the attack today and it worked out for us.''
Carr put the Dynamo on the scoreboard in the 45th minute. Davis sent in a corner kick that Houston defender Bobby Boswell deflected to a wide-open Carr, who headed it in from the right side of the six-yard box for his third goal of the season.
''A terrible goal to concede, especially at that time,'' Toronto coach Paul Mariner said. ''That's when you should be on your mettle. The last kick of the half, you have to be resolute. Takes the wind out of us a little bit.''
Houston widened its advantage in the 86th when Davis set up Ching with a beautiful touch pass and the Dynamo captain put it past Toronto goalkeeper Milos Kocic with ease.
''Brian came on today and battled unbelievably hard, did a great job and got himself a goal,'' Davis said. ''We've been a tough team to break down lately.''
Toronto (5-12-4) snapped a three-game winning streak.
Both Houston goals came on defensive gaffes as Toronto played sluggishly after more than a week off since its last MLS game.
''The fight wasn't there, we made it too easy for Houston,'' Toronto forward Ryan Johnson said. ''They were beating us on second balls and there wasn't enough effort on our end. If we don't bring it against Houston, you're not going to beat them.''
Toronto came out sluggish in the second half until the 54th minute when Quincy Amarikwa battled for position with the ball in the six-yard box, but was taken down hard by two defenders. The newly-acquired forward pleaded to the refs but to no avail.
Houston continued to maintain possession as midfielder Boniek Garcia fired in a left-footed shot in the 57th that went just wide to the left.
The Dynamo slowed down the pace to protect their lead, though Toronto had a chance to tie it in the 73rd when midfielder Luis Silva put a deflected header just over the crossbar.