Toronto FC nearly suffered a disheartening home loss, but rallied to salvage a result in Wednesday’s most exciting match on a busy midweek slate in MLS.
TFC finished tied with D.C. United, 4-4, with the MLS Cup champions scoring two equalizers from the 86th minute on to take a point.
Atlanta United won the evening’s best match, beating the Columbus Crew in a clash of top MLS teams. Josef Martinez added to his league-leading goal tally while the Atlanta defense shut down the Crew attack.
In the evening’s late action, the Chicago Fire and New England Revolution went West to earn a pair of road draws.
Here’s a closer look at all of Wednesday’s MLS action:
IMPACT 3, ORLANDO CITY 0 (Final)
Three minutes in a penalty was given to the Montreal Impact. Taking possession of a loose ball in the box, Saphir Taider was tackled by Chrisitan Higuita and the referee called a penalty. Ignacio Piatti stepped up to the spot and netted his first goal in five games to open the score early.
In the 55th minute, Amro Tarek gave the Impact a second goal. The Egyptian caught a cross coming from Daniel Lovitz but redirected the ball in his own net.
In added time, Piatti added a second goal to his tally. Daniel Lovitz found the Argentine with a through ball and Piatti dribbled passed Joe Bendik to bring the score to 3-0.
Man of the Match: In a very slow 3-0 win for the Impact, Evan Bush held the fort to keep his team’s clean sheet. The Ohio native robbed Orlando City of many opportunities to come back in the game.
Moment of the Match: After a challenge on Saphir Taider inside the box, the Impact were given a penalty. Stepping to the spot, Ignacio Piatti snapped a five-game goalless drought to give his team the early lead.
Match to Forget: Amro Tarek tried to clear the ball for his team but as a result gave the Impact its insurance goal.
CREW 0, ATLANTA UNITED 2 (Final)
Atlanta United’s clash with the Columbus Crew was seen as a clash of Eastern Conference contenders. When all was said and done, Atlanta’s stars were the ones who stepped up in a 2-0 road win at MAPFRE Stadium on Wednesday.
In the 30th minute, Josef Martinez continued his goalscoring run with his 14th goal of the season. The Venezuelan’s finish came on an assist from Ezequiel Barco, giving Atlanta a 1-0 road lead.
Hector Villalba iced the game for Atlanta in the 82nd minute, scoring just six minutes after joining the fray as a substitute.
Man of the Match: The Atlanta United backline was solid once again and Brad Guzan made some big saves, but Leandro Gonzalez Pirez stood out with his effort in the center of defense.
Moment of the Match: The Crew were certainly in it until the waning moments when Villalba sealed the win with an 82nd minute finish.
Match to Forget: Wednesday’s match was a relatively quiet one from Wil Trapp, who showed some after effects from a busy USMNT schedule.
TORONTO FC 4, D.C. UNITED 4 (Final)
Down 3-0 at halftime, Toronto FC looked all but dead before a second half comeback sealed a shocking 4-4 draw.
D.C. United combined for a pretty team goal in the 12th minute with Asad providing the finishing touch. Asad finished off a pass from fellow Argentine Luciano Acosta, firing first time from the center of the box for the opener.
Five minutes later, Paul Arriola doubled the advantage, scoring on a stunning diving header to give D.C. a 2-0 road lead. Just before halftime, Darren Mattocks made it three against a TFC team that was bombarded at home in the first 45.
TFC did pull one back in the 56th minute, though, as Jonathan Osorio scored his third goal in two matches. Eight minutes later, it was 3-2 with Victor Vazquez continuing TFC’s comeback attempt.
That comeback was completed in the 86th minute as Nick Hagglund headed in TFC’s third second half goal. Moments later, though, Asad stepped up, seemingly winning the match in the 90th minute. Then, Hagglund struck again, finishing the scoring at 4-4 in a Game of the Year candidate.
Man of the Match: Asad provided the first and fourth goals of the game for a D.C. team that needed to defend the lead better.
Moment of the Match: Just minutes after Asad seemingly won the match, Hagglund provided another equalizer to cap a ridiculous game.
Match to Forget: It was a rough game for defenders on both sides, but Eriq Zavaleta was singled out when he was removed heading into the second half as TFC switched tactics.
RED BULLS 2, SOUNDERS 1 (Final)
The Red Bulls opened the scoring with a goal in the 37rd minute. Florian Valot’s pass across the goal line found Daniel Royer on the opposite side, who easily scored from close range.
The home side doubled their lead in the 52nd minute, as Ethan Kutler’s impressive cross found Bradley Wright-Phillips’ head.
The Sounders were able to pull one back through Harry Shipp, whose 89th minute shot hit the post and made its way into the goal.
Man of the Match: In addition to scoring his team’s first goal of the night, Royer enjoyed a strong game on the wing as he frequently found himself pestering the Sounders defense.
Moment of the Match: Kutler marked his first MLS start with a perfect cross to Wright-Phillips’ head, and the frequent goalscorer scored with an equally as remarkable header to put the game out of reach.
Match to Forget: It was another off night the Sounders offense, and in particular Will Bruin, who played mostly without influence during his 90 minute shift.
RAPIDS 2, FIRE 2 (Final)
A first-half goal-fest was followed by a defensive struggle in the second half as the Chicago Fire earned a road draw at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Up first were the Rapids, who scored twice in an eight-minute span. Dominique Badji began the scoring with a seventh-minute finish before Tommy Smyth scored to push the lead to 2-0 in the 15th.
Then, it was the Fire’s turn, beginning with a 21st-minute own goal from Danny Wilson. Alexander Katai scored the equalizer three minutes later as things settled down heading to the half.
Tim Howard was called on to make a pair of outstanding saves in the second half to keep the Fire from pulling ahead, while Fire goalkeeper Richard Sanchez denied an excellent Joe Mason chance late in second-half stoppage time to preserve the draw.
Man of the Match: Katai forced the own goal before scoring what wound up being the equalizer.
Moment of the Match: Richard Sanchez’s 93rd minute low save to deny Joe Mason a potential winner.
Match to Forget: Johan Kappelhof’s red card forced the Fire to play for a draw, and the Rapids nearly pulled off the win late.
EARTHQUAKES 2, REVOLUTION 2 (Final)
The San Jose Earthquakes went into Wednesday night’s match desperate to halt their four-match losing streak, but it took a Danny Hoesen double to prevent that streak from reaching five.
Hoesen scored a 51st minute equalizer in a 2-2 draw at Avaya Stadium.
Hoesen opened the scoring in the 17th minute, converting a Florian Jungwirth to put the Revs on the back-foot.
New England responded with a pair of excellent first-half finishes. Diego Fagundez struck a 20-yard free kick goal past Andrew Tarbell to tie things up in the 31st minute.
The Revs took the lead just before halftime with a lightning fast counterattack that began with a perfect Matt Turner throw sparking a breakout that culminated with a Cristian Penilla finish in the 43rd minute.
Man of the Match: Danny Hoesen’s brace made him the easy pick.
Moment of the Match: Diego Fagundez’s 31st-minute free kick goal was a beauty.
Match to Forget: Antonio Delamea lost track of Hoesen on the eventual equalizer.