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Toronto FC forward Tsubasa Endoh (31) chases down Houston Dynamo defender A. J. DeLaGarza (20) during first half MLS soccer action in Toronto on Saturday, July 20, 2019.Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press

Tommy McNamara, Tomas Martinez and Mauro Manotas scored as the Houston Dynamo recorded a rare road win Saturday, ending Toronto FC’s recent resurgence with a 3-1 MLS victory.

Toronto, which made wholesale roster changes in its third game in a week, had plenty of the ball but paid for some shambolic defending and a misfiring offence before an announced crowd of 25,949 at BMO Field.

It was an uncomfortable evening all round. Toronto was under a heat warning Saturday and the temperatures were in the low 30s at kickoff.

Houston (9-9-3) led 2-0 at the half and could have been up by four if not for some fine saves by Quentin Westberg.

Substitute Jozy Altidore, with a fine header, scored for Toronto (8-9-5) in the 75th minute to cut the lead to 3-1. It was his eighth of the season.

An 83rd-minute Toronto goal off a Michael Bradley free kick was ruled offside.

After enduring an eight-game winless streak (0-5-3), Toronto had righted the ship in recent weeks. It had won its last two and lost just once in the five games (3-1-1) prior to Saturday.

The Dynamo had been going in the other direction, losing three straight — giving up 11 goals in the process — and winning just two of their last 12 matches (2-8-2) prior to Saturday after a 6-1-1 start to the season.

Houston had lost its last eight road league games — outstcored 20-4 — since winning 4-1 at Colorado on March 30.

Toronto coach Greg Vanney made seven changes to his starting 11 with only Westberg, defenders Laurent Ciman and Justin Morrow and midfielder Tsubasa Endoh retaining their place.

Altidore and Bradley, both designated players, started on the bench. The team said Bradley was being rested — the first time he has been a healthy non-starter since April 2018 for a game at Colorado in the CONCACAF Champions League.

It made for some high-priced spectators with Toronto’s bench making more than US$13 million this season.

Toronto had 60 per cent possession in the first half but failed to put a shot on target. Houston, meanwhile, took advantage on some shambolic defending to grab the lead.

Vanney sent on Altidore and Jacob Shaffelburg to kickstart the offence in the final 45 minutes. It worked for a while, until Toronto leaked another goal.

Bradley came on with the score 3-0.

The visitors arrived with the worst road record in the league but went ahead in the fourth minute on McNamara’s goal, which was set by a beautiful pass by Memo Rodriguez that bypassed five Toronto defenders. Ciman misread the play, stepping up to get close to another Dynamo player and leaving space for the pass to McNamara.

Martinez doubled the lead in the 23rd minute, put in alone by a nifty flick from Manotas to cap a Houston attack that saw too many Toronto players left in their tracks.

Altidore had a couple of early chances in the second half and Shaffelburg drove at the defence and fired a shot just wide. Houston ‘keeper Tyler Deric had to tip a long-range Ciman shot over the bar.

But Manotas burst the Toronto bubble in the 57th minute, taking advantage of more shocking defence. After a Toronto attack ended at the other end, McNamara fired a long ball up to a lone Manotas, who eluded Eriq Zavaleta, Ciman, Liam Fraser and Jonathan Osorio before beating Westberg.

Osorio’s shot was cleared off the line in the 73rd minute. A Toronto penalty appeal for handball was then turned down as nothing went the home side’s way.

Toronto had 68.4 per cent possession (80.1 in second half) and outshot Houston 18-7 although the Dynamo had 6-5 edge in shots on target.

Both teams were missing key pieces.

Spanish playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo, a third DP who tops Toronto with nine goals and eight assists, sat out after injuring an ankle in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over the visiting Red Bulls.

The Toronto starting 11 had a combined 10 goals this season, one less than Pozuelo. There was a first start for newly acquired forward Patrick Mullins, which ended at halftime.

Houston made five changes to the team thumped 5-0 midweek in Atlanta. Colombia’s Manotas led the attack in place of the suspended Alberth Elis, the team’s leading scorer who was sent off six minutes into the Atlanta contest.

Morrow marked his 200th game for Toronto in all competitions.

Toronto hosts FC Cincinnati next Saturday, the first of eight straight games against Eastern Conference opposition. Houston hosts Mexico’s Club America in a friendly Wednesday before entertaining Seattle in league play Saturday.

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