United and Toluca play to 1-1 draw

D.C. United failed to make history Tuesday night. Their chance to become the first Major League Soccer to win on Mexican soil was spoiled by Israel Lopez's second-half penalty kick. D.C. still managed a 1-1 draw against Toluca at Estadio Nemesio Diez, but United will have to wait until Thursday to learn if that's enough to secure passage into the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.Major League Soccer teams are now 0-17-2 in competitive matches in Mexico.D.C. United ends the group stage with a 3-2-1 record, good for 10 points, one better than CD Marathon of Honduras, which meets winless San Juan Jabloteh in Trinidad Thursday night. United would advance with any result but a Marathon win.Chris Pontius put D.C. United in front, powering his second CONCACAF Champions League goal past Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera in the sixth minute. The play started when Luciano Emilio latched onto a long punt from Steve Cronin and, after one bounce, headed back to Pontius. The rookie took the ball off his chest and unleashed a blast inside the near post.Had the goal stood up, Pontius would have been challenged for man of the match honors by goalkeeper Steve Cronin. Signed last week on loan from the Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, Cronin was called into action almost immediately, swatting a lob by Nestor Calderon, resulting in the game's first corner kick just three minutes into the game.Cronin made a diving to his right to snare Issac Brizuela's low, hard shot from distance in the 37th minute and watched Raul Nava head Brizuela's cross off the crossbar in the first minute of first-half stoppage time.D.C. United coach Tom Soehn made one change at the half, bringing on Rodney Wallace for Boyzzz Khumalo. Toluca coach Jose Manuel de la Torre made a pair of changes two minutes apart as Carlos Esquivel came on for Francisco Gamboa in the 57th and then Isaac Lopez replaced Vladimir Marin two minutes later.That change proved fortuitous as Lopez equalized from the penalty spot in the 62nd minute after Trinidadian referee Geoffrey Hospedales pointed to the spot after a clumsy challenge by Lawson Vaughn sent Lopez tumbling to the ground near the end line.Lopez stepped to the spot and beat Cronin, who dived to his right.Immediately after the goal, Dejan Jakovic replaced John DiRaimondo, while Christian Gomez came on for Devon McTavish, who nearly put D.C. United in front in the 64th minute, but his diving header from 10 yards was wide of the net.Toluca was safe to advance with a draw, but the hosts still pressed for the winning goal. Diego De La Torre's bouncing shot in the 66th minute was wide to Cronin's left and then Cronin came up with a diving save at the edge of the six-yard box on Nava in the 73rd minute.D.C. joins Houston as the only MLS squads to earn a point in Mexico, but will the two squads advance to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals? For fans of both teams, it will be a nervous 48 hours.DCU: Cronin, John, Vaughn, McTavish (Gomez 68), James, Szetela, DiRaimondo (Jakovic 63), Fred, Pontius, Emilio, Khumalo (Wallace 46)Subs not used: Kocic, Allen, Habarugira, ShipalaneTOL: Talavera, M. De La Torre, Duenas, Gamboa (Esquivel 57), Almazan, Marin (Lopez 59), D. De La Torre, Romagnoli, Calderon, Nava, Brizuela (Mancilla 68)Subs not used: Velasco, Zarate, Cruzalta, PerezSCORING SUMMARY
DC: Chris Pontius (Luciano Emilio) 6TOL: Israel Lopez 62MISCONDUCT SUMMARY
DC: Danny Szetela (caution) 9TOL: Hector Mancilla (caution) 74DC: Julius James (caution) 83DC: Lawson Vaughn (caution) 84TOL: Edgar Duenas (caution) 90Referee: Geoffrey HospedalesAssistant Referees: Simon Baptiste, Mentor BaptisteFourth Official: Benito Archundia