Toronto FC and Atlanta United have proven to be two of the most exciting teams in MLS, and they certainly lived up to the billing Saturday in a back-and-forth draw.
On Saturday, TFC FC hosted Atlanta United in what turned out to be a highly entertaining 2-2 draw at BMO Field.
It was the away side who opened the scoring, as Miguel Almiron played a long range pass to Hector Villalba, who easily outran his defender and scored for a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute.
TFC’s response came just five minutes later, when Victor Vazquez and Jozy Altidore combined before finding Sebastian Giovinco in front of goal. The Italian easily scored what was his first goal of the season to level the score.
With momentum on Toronto’s side throughout the remainder of the first half, it was seemingly only a matter of time before the home side would score the go-ahead goal, which came a minute before halftime. Steven Beitashour’s pass found Justin Morrow near the goal, and Morrow’s finish from close range saw the defender show attacking flair and send their team ahead before the half.
Atlanta, though, came into the second half more energetic, and found the equalizer. It was Villalba again in a similar sequence, this time assisted by Leandro Gonzalez Pirez for the game’s final goal.
The away side were dealt a blow in the middle of the second half, as Yamil Asad was handed a red card following an elbow to Eriq Zavaleta’s face. Atlanta played the final 15 minutes down to ten, though they managed to hold onto the away point.
Man of the Match
Hector Villalba bothered the Toronto defense all night, including scoring the two goals that secured Atlanta’s point on the road. His first goal, in particular, featured him staying barely onside in order for teammate Miguel Almiron to play a smart pass to him.
Moment of the Match
Though Sebastian Giovinco will get credit for Toronto’s first goal of the night, it was Jozy Altidore’s assist that was the most beautiful part of the play. Altidore, on the edge of the penalty area, found Giovinco through a flick, which turned out to be more impressive than Giovinco’s finish.
Match to Forget
Alex Bono’s first full match filling in for the injured Clint Irwin was not the smoothest of rides. He looked uneasy at times facing the talented attack of Atlanta, particularly so on the first goal, when Bono let Villalba’s shot slide too easily to his right.