The "MLS is Back Tournament" continued today with heavily-favoured Toronto FC playing undermanned and outclassed DC United on Monday in Orlando, Florida.
This highly-anticipated matchup marked the return of team spectator sports to the calendar for Canadian soccer fans and appeared to be an easy mismatch for Toronto, last year's MLS championship runner-up.
Bettors who wagered on Toronto FC layed as high a price as -400 and looked to be in great shape entering the 80th minute of play. The fiery Canadians led 2-0 by virtue of two first-half goals and had pretty much dominated the game in terms of shots and time of possession. Even worse for the trailing Washingtonians, they were down to ten players due to an earlier ejection.
Then, everything collapsed.
Boosted by late substitutions from the bench, DC United hoisted two shocking late goals into the net, including the stunning tie-maker in the 91st minute of play, which was during the period of added time. It was a shocking turn of events.
To make matters worse, this was the first time in 156 MLS games when a team down by two goals and short a man on the field didn't end up losing the game:
The match had begun at 9 am on Monday morning, a most unusual starting time.
The "MLS is Back" tournament is playing all league games in Orlando, which requires unprecedented flexibility for players and viewers trying to keep up on television. Spectators are not permitted at games, due to the coronavirus threat. Hence, games are played pretty much all day, seven days a week.
Toronto FC won't have much time to lick its wounds or shake their heads wondering how things melted down in the closing minutes, resulting in a disappointing tie. On Thursday, Toronto will play the Montreal Impact in the inter-Canadian rivalry.
TORONTO'S NEXT GAME: Thursday, July 16 vs. Montreal Impact (8 pm ET | FSI and TUDN in US, TSN and TVAS in Canada)
Headline Photo Credit: Major League Soccer