Toronto FC played their fifth game of the 2017 MLS season on Saturday April 8, 2017 as they hosted Atlanta FC United. There were 26, 812 in attendance at BMO Field and the appointed referee for this match was David Gantar.
Going into this match TFC were still without full-back Ashtone Morgan (6-8 weeks) and goalkeeper Clint Irwin (4-5 weeks) TFC Coach Greg Vanney had the following eleven starting for Toronto FC.
Alex Bono gets another start at goal to replace Clint Irwin and Chris Mavinga gets his first start of the season taking over for Nick Hagglund. Another surprise to the TFC squad included former TFC II goalkeeper Mark Pais who receives his first call to the bench as a backup to Alex Bono.
Three points was TFC’s task at hand as they wanted to advance further up in the Eastern conference standings. Atlanta United FC is coached by former Argentina National Team Coach Gerardo Martino who has had a decent record for the new MLS franchise who had two wins one loss and one draw going into this match. Atlanta opened up the scoring early on in the 15th minute as 22-year-old Argentine Striker Hector Villalba scores his third goal of the season. TFC would equalize in the 20th minute as Sebastian Giovinco gets his first goal of the season from a beautiful back kick heal pass from Jozy Altidore. Before the end of the half TFC takes the lead in the 44th minute as Winger Beitashour sets up TFC’s other winger in the game Justin Morrow making it his second goal of the season.
Just shortly after the start of the second half Atlanta would equalize in the 47th minute as Hector Villalba would net his brace of the match. TFC Coach Greg Vanney would switch Chris Mavinga for Nick Hagglund in the 51st minute. TFC would press on creating opportunities with back-to-back corners in the 53rd minute. TFC goalkeeper Alex Bono came up big in the 70th minute with a big save denying Almiron. In the 73rd minute Victor Vazquez would leave the pitch and be replaced by Jonathon Osorio.
Yamil Rodrigo Asad earns a red card in the 75th minute after what appeared to be an elbow to the back of the head of TFC defender Eriq Zavaleta. With a one man advantage TFC pressed on and in the 85th minute Giovinco lobbed a pass to Jozy Altidore who could not get a touch on the strike. Even with 4 minutes of added time and one man up TFC drew 2-2 to Atlanta and continue their longest undefeated streak to the start of the season with one win and four draws.
At the end of the match TFC coach Greg Vanney admitted that he was happy with TFC’s forward three (Altidore, Giovinco, Vazquez) and although he considered it their best performance of the year but the team “lacked precision.”
Toronto FC will travel away to face the Columbus Crew on Saturday April 15, 2017.