Allergy, storm, Stewart help Dallas top Toronto

Associated Press
A scattering of fans watch the first half of a CONCACAF Champions League soccer game between Toronto FC and  FC Dallas in Toronto on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011. The game was replayed after being abandoned because of thunderstorms the night before. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
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TORONTO (AP) — A peanut allergy and a thunderstorm combined to help put Jack Stewart in the game for FC Dallas.

Good thing for Dallas, too — Stewart scored the winning goal in his debut with the team.

The defender on loan from second-tier NSC Minnesota Stars headed home the game's only goal in first-half stoppage time to give Dallas a 1-0 road win Thursday in the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League.

"Don't know much about him, but I've got to say he's pretty good in the air," FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said of Stewart.

The game was a replay of one scrubbed the night before by a thunderstorm.

The first attempt was called off at 11:25 Wednesday night. Dallas was leading 1-0 at the time, but the score was wiped out and the game replayed Thursday morning. It felt like a practice, with the few fans on hand sitting in one section of the stadium.

The win put Dallas atop its group, with six points. Toronto is second with three and Group C's other two teams, Mexico's Pumas UNAM and Panama's Tauro FC, were set to play Thursday night.

FC Dallas players were walking out to the field when Hyndman found out that Jacobson's peanut allergy had been triggered by a bite of chocolate.

"So that was a lesson learned," Hyndman said. "He's not going to eat any more chocolate."

Lax Toronto defending on the play allowed the center back to score on his Dallas debut via a glancing header, converting a cross from Ugo Ihemelu.

The 28-year-old Stewart played for the Chicago Fire and Real Salt Lake from 2005 to 2007 before moving to Norway in 2008. He returned to the U.S. a year later, injuring his leg playing for the second-tier Carolina RailHawks.

Returning to action this year after almost two years out, he joined the NASL Minnesota Stars before signing with Dallas.

On Wednesday night, FC Dallas led 1-0 thanks to an 18th-minute goal from Brazilian attacking midfielder Jackson. The second half never started as the lakefront venue was lashed by rain, with thunder and lightning overhead.

Thursday morning it was in the mid-70s and sunny.

"It was really a strange event and it was a beautiful day today but I tell you the players really felt that sun on them — and the fatigue," Hyndman said.

Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez's penalty was off target in the 45th minute after Richard Eckersley brought down Marvin Chavez in the box. Chavez had taken advantage of poor Toronto defending, cruising through Ty Harden and Danleigh Borman.

Toronto pushed hard for an equalizer as the replay wound down.

Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman preserved the win with a close-range stop on former Dallas player Peri Marosevic in the 78th minute. And French midfielder Leandre Griffit, making his Toronto debut as a second-half substitute, shot just wide minutes later.

"We forgot to score," Toronto coach Aron Winter said.

NOTES: The doors were open to all comers free of charge Thursday, although fans had to pay admission to the Canadian National Exhibition grounds with the annual fair going on. The first fans didn't trickle into the stadium until 10:05 because the fair gates opened at 10 a.m. They were funneled into the east stand and the count was in the low hundreds when the players came out. ... This is the second time bad weather has affected a Toronto game this season. The second leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship final between Toronto and Vancouver was abandoned May 25 due to lightning and rain. The game was replayed in June.

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