Toronto FC 2, Atlanta United 2 | 2017 MLS Match Recap
Two of the more star-studded attacks went toe-to-toe on Saturday night, but neither of them were able to muster up the final bit of quality that would make the difference.
Toronto FC and Atlanta United split the points in their first meeting after playing to an exciting 2-2 draw at BMO Field in Toronto, Canada. Both Eastern Conference clubs held leads in the end-to-end affair, but it was Hector Villalba's second goal of the night for Atlanta that ensured the match ended in a stalemate.
Atlanta United were forced to finish the match with 10 men after Yamil Asad was shown a straight red card in the 75th minute, but the expansion side held on to share the spoils with Toronto.
- 15' – ATL – Hector Villalba Watch
- 20' – TOR – Sebastian GIovinco Watch
- 44' – TOR – Justin Morrow Watch
- 47' – ATL – Hector Villalba Watch
- THAT WAS FUN: From goals to end-to-end action to a red card, this game had everything and boy was it entertaining. Both Toronto FC and Atlanta United attempted to throw numbers into the attack on Saturday, and they each took turns serving as the aggressor in the match as a result. The proactive approaches made for one of the more exciting tilts of the young MLS season, with both clubs creating several chances before settling for the draw.
- VILLALBA COMES THROUGH: Hector Villalba had scored his first goal of the season prior to this meeting, but this was the match that really saw him deliver in the final third. Villalba netted both of Atlanta United's goals by using his speed and finishing skills, first racing onto a delicious Miguel Almiron through ball in the 15th minute before getting in behind to track down a Leandro Gonzalez Pirez pass almost immediately after halftime. It is true that Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono did not cover himself in glory on either of Villalba's goals, but nonetheless the Atlanta attacker showed off some of the qualities that made him a Designated Player signing.
- TORONTO ATTACK GETS GOING: At last, Toronto FC looked like the high-powered squad that reached the MLS Cup Final last year. It was not just that Sebastian Giovinco scored his first goal of the season, but also the way he and Jozy Altidore combined and attacked aggressively while other players like Victor Vazquez and Armando Cooper also had strong moments of their own. This is a performance that Toronto will want to build on, at least as far as the attacking side is concerned.