It may well be Wayne Rooney’s sliding tackle and long ball into the box that has been hogging the spotlight over the past day but the player on the end of that pass to give DC United a dramatic win over Orlando City was former Boca Juniors playmaker Luciano Acosta.
The pint-sized 24-year-old was completing his hat-trick in stoppage time to secure the 3-2 win and deserves huge praise for his vital role.
A huge talent when emerging from Boca’s academy, Acosta never got much of a look at senior level and even on loan at Estudiantes earlier in his career, the skillful midfielder would often go missing. At times, given his diminuitive frame, still looking like a youth player attempting to mix it with the seniors.
Acosta gave DC United the lead on Sunday in first half stoppage time, finishing off after another pass from Rooney but Orlando soon equalised after the break.
Even when Orlando were reduced to ten men it didn’t prevent the visitors cancelling out Acosta’s second, this time assisted by compatriot Yamil Asad.
However, with DC United unlikely to make the playoffs, Acosta’s late winner provided one of the best moments of the season.
Elsewhere in the MLS, Diego Valeri scored from the penalty spot as Portland Timbers lost 2-1 to Vancouver Whitecaps.
The Argentinian has scored nine this season but having missed an earlier penalty in the game, the error cost Portland at least a draw. However, the team are still on course of a playoff spot.
South of the border in Liga MX, Cristian Menéndez scored two late goals to give Veracruz victory away to Puebla.
An 83rd minute header from a corner swung into the box brought Los Tiburones Rojos level and immediately after Menéndez threw himself at another cross to score the winner.
Toluca climbed to sixth in the table with victory over Tigres thanks in no small part to Guido Pizarro’s first half sending off which handed the initiative to the visitors.
André-Pierre Gignac opener had Tigres in charge but when the referee adjudged Pizarro to have thrown an elbow, his red card changed the game.
Enrique Triverio equalised shortly after half time, following in after his own header had been saved, before Toluca went onto win 2-1.
And finally, Brian Fernández continued his fine start to life in Mexico with a second goal for new club Necaxa.
The troubled former Defensa y Justicia and Racing Club forward stroked in from close range to level against Morelia but couldn’t prevent Necaxa falling to defeat.
Everyone in Argentina has known that of the 23-year-old’s quality on the pitch but his decisions away from the game have impacted his career to date. If Fernández can stay focused he will succeed in Liga MX.