Toronto FC took on DC United in their first game in the MLS is back tournament. Toronto took an early lead, but DC persevered and came back to tie the game at a score of 2-2.

After being postponed twice, Toronto FC finally kicked off the MLS is back tournament. In a rematch from the first round of last year’s playoffs, both teams had a lot to prove in this match. Toronto had to show that they are still a dominant force in the east. DC United had to prove that their extra time blowup against TFC last year wasn’t the norm. Let’s take a looks at some of the minutes that mattered in this opening-round game.

12′ Ayo Akinola blasts one into the back of the net to open up the scoring

Going into this tournament, the hope was that Altidore will be fit. If not, we had rookie sensation Achara too fall back on. Well, Altidore was not fit to play today and Achara tore his ACL leading up to the tournament. This lead to homegrown player Ayo Akinola getting the start up front, and he showed he deserves to be there with an amazing goal to open up the scoring for Toronto FC.

45′ Westburg robs Ola Kamara of a goal before the half

Down 2-0 before the half, it looked like DC would score one right before the whistle. Kamara got past the TFC backline and finished a nice cross with a beautiful header. Unfortunately for Kamara, this time Quentin Westburg was in net and made an unbelievable save to secure TFC’s two-goal lead heading into halftime.

90’+ DC United score in stoppage time to salvage the tie and escape with one point

Even though they were down to 10 men for the entire second half, DC managed to score twice in 7 minutes to escape with a point. Higuain subbed in at the 80-minute mark and scored 4 minutes later to bring it back to a one-goal game. Then Brillant scored in stoppage time to tie the game.

Other notes

This was the debut match for Pablo Piatti and he played a quality 73 minutes. He showed real promise linking up with Pozuelo that will hopefully lead to goals as the tournament moves on. Michael Bradley also looked to have turned back the clock and was playing like he was in his prime again. His injury looks like it’s in the past and the extra rest must have been a blessing in disguise for him. Greg Vanney’s tactics and subs again leave a lot to be desired. The double switch of Mavinga and Gonzalez for Zavaleta and Ciman lead to the defensive collapse that allowed DC to come back and tie it.

Man of the Match

This award has to go to Ayo Akinola. He stepped into the starting role and bagged a brace to give TFC a two-goal lead. It should be said that he should have had another two goals but stumbled on a few great chances. Regardless, Akinola showed that he belongs on the pitch and hopefully can keep his form as Achara is hurt and Altidore is always an injury liability.

Next up: Toronto will take on rivals Montreal Impact Thursday at 8 pm EST. DC goes on to face New England at 8 pm EST on Friday.