There always seems to be heartbreak waiting on the road for Toronto FC. This season has been incredibly harsh to the team away from home for a variety of reasons, but tonight's 3-2 to Orlando City SC may have been the worst yet.
Kaka scored the game-winning goal from a penalty, with Cyle Larin and Adrian Winter also scoring for Orlando. Justin Morrow and Jordan Hamilton replied for Toronto FC.
One of the narratives coming into the match was the fact that Larin had never scored against his hometown team. That was put to bed quickly, as he scored his eighth goal of the season just five minutes into the match.
Orlando picked up the ball in transition, and Winter found Kevin Molino on the edge of the box. Molino's low cross was redirected by Larin into the top corner after he slid to beat Drew Moor at the back post. The goal gave Orlando its first ever lead over Toronto FC.
The home side could have easily extended that lead, but failed to finish a number of other chances. Larin hit the post from another chance, and Kaka forced an incredible save from Clint Irwin to keep the match close.
Due to hot conditions on the field, the match was forced to take a break late in the half so that the players could get re-hydrated. This break could not have come at a better time for Toronto FC, as it helped them regroup and avoid further damage.
In fact, Toronto would get on the front foot a little bit before the end of the half. Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio combined well on a couple of chances, but could not beat the Orlando City backline.
Toronto continued where they left off in the second half, and this time was able to get a breakthrough. A deflected ball from Justin Morrow found Osorio in the middle of the box, who played a brilliant backheel through to Hamilton. The 20-year-old calmly finished off the chance for his first MLS goal.
With the game tied going into the final 20 minutes of the match, Toronto was dealt a huge blow when goalkeeper Clint Irwin went down to injury. Irwin awkwardly took a goal kick that looked as if it resulted in him pulling a muscle. He instantly went down to the ground in pain. Irwin was replaced by rookie Alex Bono, who had not yet played a minute in MLS.
His inexperience would shine through not too long after. He bobbled a ball in the box that was quickly claimed by Molino, who centred for Winter who headed home to give Orlando a 2-1 win into an empty net.
Toronto FC was not willing to let their hard earned point go easily, however. Osorio played a brilliant ball over the top which found Giovinco behind the Orlando City defence. Giovinco centred for Morrow who had a wide open net to make the match 2-2.
That goal looked to have earned Toronto FC a point, but misfortune struck again. During the eight minutes of added time, a result of treatment to Clint Irwin, Toronto conceded a very harsh penalty. Julio Baptista appeared to go down easily in the box, and Drew Moor was whistled for a foul.
Kaka stepped up to the spot and fired Orlando in front for good, giving them a crucial three points in front of their home fans. They pass Toronto FC in the standings, as will many other clubs in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto FC will get a chance to regroup on Wednesday, when they take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in the second leg of the Voyageurs Cup final.