It was back to reality for Toronto FC this weekend, as they returned to MLS action after heartbreak in the CONCACAF Champions League during the week.
But the disappointment continued as they drew 2-2 with Chicago Fire at BMO Field, with former player, Alan Gordon, grabbing the dramatic equaliser in stoppage time at the end of the second half.
The current MLS Cup holders began the day 14 points behind the Eastern Conference leaders, and this should’ve been the start of their journey back into contention.
It looked as if there was no CONCACAF hangover within the Toronto camp during the opening stages as TFC took the lead in just the 8th minute. Sebastian Giovinco ran in behind before squaring the ball to Osorio who had an easy tap in.
Everybody at BMO Field thought it was 2-0 just moments later, however Giovinco’s goal was overturned by Video Review.
Toronto eventually doubled their lead in the 22nd minute, after Michael Bradley pulled off a world-class ‘accidental’ pass which landed at the feet of Victor Vazquez who finished with a delightful chip.
In the 36th minute, Chicago Fire were awarded a penalty after Nemanja Nikolic was brought down by Ashtone Morgan. A questionable decision aided by VAR, and TFC would have felt justice was done when Alex Bono kept out Bastian Schweinsteiger’s spot-kick.
Schweinsteiger did pull one back and halved the deficit in the 69th minute as he got on the end of a corner and headed home. As a result of that goal, and Toronto’s understandably tired legs, the home side began to look shaky and Chicago Fire took a hold of the game.
Just as it looked like Toronto were going to hold on to a vital three points, former TFC player, Alan Gordon, popped up with a dramatic stoppage time equaliser, levelling it at 2-2.
There was visible frustration around BMO Field at full-time as players dropped to the ground and manager, Greg Vanney, volleyed a water bottle. Toronto are now a staggering 15 points behind Eastern Conference leaders, Atlanta United.
Yes, the Canadian side has been concentrating on the CONCACAF Champions League, but now that’s over and done with, there is serious work to do for the defending champions.