By RYAN TOLMICH
With time dwindling and the score tied at one, Toronto FC forward Gilberto saw his toe-poke effort roll past Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson and into the back of the net. However, celebrations would be short-lived, as referee David Gantar kept Gilberto off the board and spared the Fire defense.
The Brazilian’s 90th minute finish was disallowed due to a foul call, forcing TFC to settle for a single point with a 1-1 draw Saturday at Toyota Park.
As the game entered stoppage time, Gilberto found himself in the corner of the Fire box with a chance to score the go-ahead goal. After dribbling towards the middle of the field, the TFC forward battled with Fire centerback Bakary Soumare before poking a shot past Johnson and over the line. However, Gantar immediately whistled the Brazilian for a foul, denying TFC a late go-ahead goal.
Gilberto’s disallowed finish came just two minutes after Dwayne De Rosario tied the game at one following a set piece scramble.
The Canadian international netted an 89th minute equalizer to push the scoreline to 1-1 by finishing shortly after a Jackson corner kick. Jackson’s initial ball pinballed around the box before finding the head of Gilberto, who headed towards goal and into the path of De Rosario. The TFC midfielder tapped home from inside the six yard box in what would turn out to be the game’s final goal.
De Rosario’s equalizer canceled out an opener from Lovel Palmer, whose 11th minute header separated the sides for a majority of the contest.
After taking a short corner, winger Sanna Nyassi fired a ball towards the near post and into the path of Palmer. The Fire defender rose above the TFC defense to head past Joe Bendik to give his side a lead that would last until De Rosario’s equalizer 78 minutes later.
With the draw, TFC remain three points out of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot with a game in hand, while the Fire sit seven points out while also possessing an extra game to be played.
TFC’s next contest comes Sept. 21st, when BMO Field will play host to a matchup with the lowly Chivas USA. Meanwhile, the Fire now turn towards a clash with Eastern Conference leading D.C. United Sept. 20 at Toyota Park.
Here are the match highlights: