For the first time in 13 matches, Toronto FC were able to hold on to overcome the Chicago Fire. They weren't completely without nightmares from their past, however, as ex- designated player Gilberto made a triumphant return to BMO Field by scoring two goals.
The victory was crucial to Toronto FC, who move 5 points into the playoffs with a game in hand over the chasing Orlando City SC. It also helped fend off the Montreal Impact, who are only one point behind Toronto FC in the sixth and final playoff spot.
It took Gilberto less than a minute to remind Toronto FC of the calibre of player they had let walk. He made it 1-0 with a low strike from the top of the box that beat Chris Konopka.
Toronto, appearing to be stunned by the goal, looking lethargic for most of the half. Content to sit back, Chicago absorbed their pressure easily and looked dangerous in the counter attack, with Gilberto continuing to threaten.
As it has been all season, however, one player refused to let Toronto lose. It may have been Jonathan Osorio that was ultimately credited with Toronto's equalizer, but the goal was all credit to Sebastian Giovinco. After a mishit corner, the Italian collected the ball and curled it into the net. On the way it took a slight touch off of Osorio's head.
The goal meant Toronto headed into halftime with plenty of momentum, having found several holes in the Fire defence after Osorio's goal.
When the half resumed, however, it was Chicago who once again took the lead. Continuing to rub salt into a Toronto wound increasing in size, Gilberto scored his second goal of the game to put the Fire up 2-1. With Damien Perquis out of position, a Mike Magee split open to Toronto defense with a pass to a wide open Gilberto.
It didn't take long for to draw level once again, however, as it was captain Michael Bradley's turn to put the team on his back. Collecting the ball in the midfield, Bradley dribbled all the way into the box before a quick cut left him open to fire the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-2.
With an assist on the goal, Sebastian Giovinco would break a Major League Soccer record for most combined goals and assists in a season. The record had previously been set by Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes who had 34 in a 2012 MLS MVP performance.
Tired of playing from behind, Toronto pushed forward and would claim their first lead of the game in the 80th minute. A corner kick would find the feet of Jozy Altidore, who gave Toronto their first lead of the game. It was the striker's 11th goal of the season.
Despite some late game chances, Toronto FC were able to claim all three points and return to a .500 record on the season. Making their first ever playoff appearance official is all that remains.