TFC salvages draw against Atlanta with goal in 91st minute

Tosaint Ricketts had a stoppage-time goal to lift Toronto FC to a 2-2 tie against league-leading Atlanta United on Saturday.

Edmonton's Ricketts, who came off the bench in the 81st minute, punched home fellow Canadian Jonathan Osorio's cross in the 91st minute to level it for defending champion Toronto (6-11-5).

The result extended Toronto's unbeaten streak to five games in all competitions.

"It's a good result on the road," Ricketts said. "It's not easy to come into Atlanta and get a result. Good crowd, great atmosphere. So, we will take this point tonight."

Sebastian Giovinco scored in first half stoppage time, and Tosaint Ricketts scored in second half stoppage time as Toronto FC drew Atlanta United 2-2. 2:12

Josef Martinez scored twice for Atlanta to set an MLS record with 45 goals in his first two seasons.

Martinez passed Stern John (44, 1998-99) for most goals in his first two seasons. The Venezuelan striker has 26 goals this season, one short of the MLS record. Atlanta (14-4-6) has 10 games remaining.

Questionable call

Martinez tied it at 1-1 with a penalty kick in the 53rd minute after drawing the penalty against goalkeeper Alex Bono. Toronto coach Greg Vanney was not happy with the call.

"One of the key moments was the PK that should not have been a PK," Vanney said. "Like I said before, goals change things. When that goal gets called, the game changes. They are now up, and things change. To me, that's unfortunate, because that's the whole purpose of VAR . Here we are again having the same discussion another week. So, it is what it is.

"Happy and proud of our guys to continue to battle. Everybody wants to hand the mantle over to Atlanta, but we are not ready to give anything up, so take that. That's what I felt like the script was today. It was supposed to be Atlanta's day and it wasn't."


In the 67th, Martinez headed home Hector Villalba's diagonal cross to make it 2-1.

'Massive' tie

Sebastian Giovinco gave Toronto FC a 1-0 lead in the first minute of first-half stoppage time, finishing Auro's cross with a right-footed shot from the centre of the box.

Bono described the point for the tie as "massive.

"Atlanta is at the top of the Eastern Conference standings and we've been there before," he said. "We know what it's like to be at the top of the standings. Every team is gunning for you, especially when you are in the spotlight as much as this franchise is. Coming in here and getting a result and grinding it out was big for our momentum going forward. Something we can take in stride and move on to the next fixture with."

The bad news for Toronto was a red card defender Chris Mavinga received at the end of the game after getting into a shoving match with Leandro Gonzalez Pirez.

"I'm disappointed for sure," Vanney said. "There is no business for their centre back to be up in our end of the field stirring up nonsense. As for our guy, he needs to control his temper better and not get involved in that. For me though, their guy has no business being up there and stirring things up."

Toronto travels to Vancouver to face the Whitecaps in the first leg of the Canadian Championship final on Wednesday.

Mavinga will sit out Toronto's next MLS game Aug. 12 against visiting New York City.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News