Julius James scored in the 81st minute to lift last-place D.C. United to a 1-0 victory against Toronto FC on Saturday, dealing a blow to his former team's dwindling playoff hopes.

Toronto FC (7-10-7), winless in its past six MLS matches, needed a victory to jump back into the chase for a postseason berth.

The opportunity was there against a struggling D.C. United team (5-16-3) that has been shut out 14 times this year. However, Toronto came out with an uninspired effort at home.

D.C. United, which has had trouble scoring, had the better chances but could not finish. None was better than one at the opening of the second half when D.C.'s Santino Quaranta made an improbable miss of an open goal on a close-in chance.

Finally, James, who was drafted in 2008 by Toronto and traded to Houston in the deal for Dwayne De Rosario the following offseason, made no mistake with the winner — his first goal of the season.

Toronto has not scored been in MLS play in 400 minutes.