Toronto FC striker Robert Earnshaw works in breakaways the way Apple works in high-tech cool or the way Emeril Legasse works in Cajun food. That is to say, the man knows how to make these things work.
He’s at the top of the league scoring charts for his ability (through some combination of fortune, instinct and timing) to get behind defenses and make things happen. Usually, it’s a goal – but not always.
Thanks to Jeremy Hall’s well-placed left-footer Saturday, Toronto had moved ahead against reigning Eastern Conference champion Houston at home. Ultimately the Reds would give up a late goal and get just a point from the afternoon. But Earnshaw played a big part in securing at least a point.
His “big part” was framed, of course, around a breakaway.
In the 62nd minute Earnshaw was breaking in behind the Dynamo back line. Houston defender Jermaine Taylor got a hand up near the Welsh striker’s face and – well, you can be the judge on whether there was sufficient contact to warrant the red card that Taylor was shown. The clip is below.
Forced to play a man down for more than 30 minutes, the Dynamo was surely happy to sneak away with a 1-1 draw. So, Earnshaw’s ability to make mayhem was a major factor. Earnshaw also affected Saturday’s match with all his work and smart off-the-ball movement. (Justin Braun did a lot to make the Dynamo defense work, too.)
Here is the Taylor-Earnshaw sequence that changed the game, subtracting significantly from any Dynamo chances of a road rally; playing on the road a man down, Dominic Kinnear’s team created precious few chances for any potential equalizer, but did find one right at the very end.