Toronto FC settles for home draw with Orlando City

Orlando City defender Kamal Miller (27) tackles Toronto FC midfielder Jacob Shaffelburg (24) during first half MLS soccer action in Toronto, on Saturday, August 10, 2019. (Christopher Katsarov/CP)

TORONTO — Patrick Mullins scored the equalizer in the 77th minute as Toronto FC played to a 1-1 draw with Orlando City SC at BMO Field on Saturday.

TFC (9-10-6) had a chance to move into the top seven in the Eastern Conference, a requirement to qualify for the playoffs, had they picked up three points. They had to settle for one.

Toronto FC has nine games remaining in the regular season.

Benji Michel scored the lone goal for Orlando (8-11-6) in the 69th minute.

The Reds had a couple of scoring chances in the opening half. In the fourth minute, Alejandro Pozuelo’s chip from inside the box sailed just over the crossbar.

In the 28th minute, Pozuelo set up another chance for Toronto FC. His chip pass from outside the box narrowly missed Jozy Altidore inside the box. His attempt to head the ball down missed and went out of bounds.

Orlando had the only shot on target in the first half. Nani’s shot from outside the box was headed for the net. TFC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg managed to get a hand on the ball along the goal line and sent the ball out of bounds.

Toronto midfielder Marky Delgado was issued a yellow card in the 34th minute for a hard tackle on Nani. The Orlando midfielder stayed in the game despite a brief delay from examination by the team’s medical staff.

Toronto came out strong to start the second half.

Midfielder Richie Laryea had a chance in the box. Despite an initial tackle by Orlando’s Kamal Miller than went uncalled, Laryea got a shot on target, but keeper Brian Rowe saved it in the middle of the goal.

In the 59th minute, Tsubasa Endoh thought he scored the first goal for TFC. His shot from outside the box landed on top of the net.

In the 62nd minute, Pozuelo’s shot from in close hit the post.

Delgado had a shot from in close that was saved by Rowe in the 66th minute.

After a dominating attack from Toronto FC, Orlando scored on the first opportunity of the second half. Two minutes after coming onto the field via substitution, Chris Mueller found Michel, who put the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead in the 69th minute.

Minutes later, Michel tackled Laryea and a penalty was initially awarded to TFC. After video-assisted review, the penalty was changed to a free kick after it was determined that the foul took place outside of the box.

On the ensuing kick, Mullins scored from inside the box after picking up the loose ball from Michael Bradley’s shot to tie the game 1-1 in the 77th minute.

In the 82nd minute, Orlando’s Lamine Sane was shown a yellow card for a hard tackle.

In injury time, Toronto’s Omar Gonzalez had a header sail over the bar.

Notes: Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow was unavailable to the club after picking up a red card in the team’s 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls last week. … Midfielder Nicholas Benezet made his home debut for TFC when he subbed into the match in the 88th minute. … Toronto returns to action Wednesday when it hosts the Ottawa Fury in the second leg of the Canadian Championship semifinal. Toronto won the first leg 2-0 in Ottawa.

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