You could not have asked for much better viewing during a Major League Soccer match than what Toronto FC and D.C. United produced tonight. Yamil Asad and Nick Hagglund each scored braces and despite the scoreline, both Alex Bono and David Ousted were outstanding in goal tonight as the two teams fought to a 4-4 draw.
D.C. brush aside a hapless Toronto in the first half
Before kick-off, no one could have predicted how abysmal Toronto FC would be in the first 45 nor how ruthless D.C. United would be on the break. Both sides were looking to pick up all three points and propel themselves further up the table and it was the visitors who took the game by the scruff of its neck in the beginning.
Asad opened the scoring when he was found by a great pull back in the 12th minute by Luciano Acosta. Then a stupendous header in the 17th minute by Paulo Arriola gave TFC fans cause for concern as D.C. went up by two goals in the space of five minutes. D.C. continued to break at every chance they got and if Bono had not been at the top of his game, Toronto would have conceded far more.
They did concede one more time in the first half as Eriq Zavaleta, who had had a terrible game, lost the ball to Darren Mattocks at the top of his own area. Acosta got the ball at his feet and his deflected shot fell to Mattocks who finished well past Bono from close range. That was all Greg Vanney was prepared to see from Zavaleta and the defender was pulled off for Tosaint Ricketts at half-time.
It 'rains' goals in the second half
The Ricketts substitution allowed Toronto to gain a foothold in the game while Ben Olsen's decision to substitute Acosta in the 61st minute will not be looked on too kindly by anyone who follows D.C. United. Ricketts joined Sebastian Giovinco up top and it gave the Italian a chance to influence the game from his usual positions. The change in formation also allowed Toronto's full backs to get forward more often and it paid off in the 56th minute when Ryan Telfer picked out Jonathan Osorio inside the penalty area and the midfielder finished clinically into the top corner.
As previously mentioned, Ricketts' presence allowed Giovinco to find pockets of space that could become dangerous for D.C. if they allowed it and they did in the 64th minute, which led to Toronto's second of the evening. Giovinco sent in a rocket that bounced off the far post and Víctor Vázquez was on hand to tap in the rebound. The comeback was well and truly on. Nick Hagglund, who was playing in back-to-back games for the first time this season, scored Toronto's third with a bullet header in the 86th minute as he connected with Justin Morrow's cross.
Many could be forgiven for thinking that would have been the end of the goals but both sides were unwilling to give up the win just yet. As Toronto pushed for a winner, D.C. found another devastating counter in the 90th minute as Patrick Mullins' pass set up Asad to finish into an empty net. The away side did not celebrate for long as Hagglund turned up again two minutes later with another strong header to put his team on level pegging again. Asad could have won the game at the death when he was found unmarked in the box but he whiffed at his shot and Toronto were able to clear the ball.