Just when TFC was on its way to a win over host D.C. United, the Reds’ defensive deficiencies once again reared their ugly heads.
Just when one thought TFC’s extended stay in the U.S. would begin on the right foot, it was Griffin Yow’s left foot that changed Toronto’s fortunes.
A calamitous start followed by a late-game letdown pretty much summed up TFC’s night as its attention to soccer’s defensive details abandoned them.
What should have been three points turned into one as TFC and D.C. United played to a 2-2 draw.
The stunning sequence came in the 88th minute when substitute Yow majestically found the back of the net with a brilliant left-footed volley as the local kid potted his first goal.
TFC talisman Ayo Akinola appeared to have provided the game-winning marker when he came into the game to begin the second half for Jozy Altidore.
Akinola’s 60th-minute goal should have been enough, but it obviously wasn’t.
So close to winning and yet TFC failed when its defence let it down.
Akinola would also come close to recording his second goal, which would have sealed the deal.
In the 66th minute, video assisted review was required on a sequence involving Richie Laryea.
The end result would be a yellow card.
Laryea used his elbow on the play, but it was hardly intentional when Laryea and Jamil Asad competed for a ball.
Minutes later, Laryea orchestrated a brilliant solo effort and almost came close to finishing it off with a goal.
A calamitous start to the night would see D.C. striker Ola Kamara pounce on a defensive blunder, casually making his way toward the goal before depositing a lovely touch past TFC ’keeper Quentin Westberg five minutes into the game.
The sequence began with an awkward pass by Alejandro Pozuelo to Omar Gonzalez, who had to lean to his right and was unable to control it
Minutes later, Pozuelo tried to make amends with a right-footed shot from outside the box that was saved by Bill Hamid.
The pace of play was quite appealing.
TFC avoided disaster in the 11th minute when Asad struck the bar with a right-footed shot from the left side of the box.
The game began to open up, which seemed to suit the visitors as TFC capitalized on D.C.’s lack of defending.
With the pressure building in D.C.’s zone, Pozuelo pounced on a failed clearing attempt to score in the 17th minute.
Pozuelo was a threat and the central figure in the opening half, which would end in a 1-1 deadlock.
A nice one-two combination featuring Pozuelo and Justin Morrow would see the ball penetrate the box, but Altidore pulled a Scott Norwood by sending a header wide right.
Speaking of headers, an Eriq Zavaleta header warded off a United threat.
Pozuelo had two shots on target, while Pablo Piatti had one to account for TFC’s first-half total.
When the Reds and the Black and Red last hooked up, the teams played to a spirited 2-2 draw at the MLS is Back Tournament staged in Orlando, Fla.