In match that served as a homecoming for Toronto FC, Jozy Altidore scored what appeared at the time to be the match winner, but a late penalty converted by Nani was enough to see Orlando City leave BMO Field with a 1-1 draw on Saturday night.
A dominating first half from Toronto saw Orlando change the tempo in the second half.
But a second-half substitution from TFC, which saw Altidore enter the game in the 64th minute for Dom Dwyer, proved to be beneficial for the Reds.
In the 72nd minute, a ball whipped into the area by Justin Morrow was good enough for Altidore to head the ball past Pedro Gallese to open the scoring for Toronto late in the second half.
Toronto’s lead was wiped away minutes later when a foul on Benji Michel by Alex Bono, saw the Lions get awarded a penalty via VAR, which saw Nani convert the spot kick in the 77th minute to tie the game 1-1.
Sebastian Mendez went down with an injury early in the first half that led to him getting substituted for Andres Perea in the 14th minute.
The Lions also saw the return of Joao Moutinho on Saturday, who missed Orlando’s last three game because of a lower-body injury.
Silvester van der Water did not travel with the team to Canada. According to Pareja, the winger suffered a knock on Thursday and felt it was best to leave the Dutchman back home to recover and to avoid any risks.
Orlando City is back home at Exploria Stadium on Thursday when they take on the Philadelphia Union at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.
72′ – Jozy Altidore, assisted by Justin Morrow (TOR)
77′ – Nani, penalty (ORL)
How the Lions lined up
Orlando City XI: Pedro Gallese; Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Kyle Smith; Sebastian Mendez (Andres Perea, 14′), Junior Urso (Joey DeZart, 90+2′), Benji Michel (Alexander Alvarado, 90+2′), Mauricio Pereyra (Oriol Rosell, 81′), Nani (c); Tesho Akindele (Chris Mueller, 46′).
Substitutes: Brandon Austin, Michael Halliday, Rio Hope-Gund, David Loera.
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