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Recap: Toronto FC and LA Galaxy share the points in Vanney’s return to BMO Field

Spanish midfielder Riqui Puig scored his first MLS goal to salvage a 2-2 draw for the Galaxy.

Federico Bernardeschi holds possession of the ball while being marked by Riqui Puig and Gastón Brugman on Wednesday night.
(Sean Pollock/Waking The Red)

Toronto FC’s chances of making the playoffs became slimmer on Wednesday night as former head coach Greg Vanney and his Los Angeles Galaxy left BMO Field with one point.

The Reds have now recorded 2-2 draws in back-to-back home games, leaving fans disappointed yet again.

Possession was balanced in the opening 15 minutes, with chances occurring throughout. Former TFC midfielder Víctor Vázquez had the first chance of the game, with his low curling shot in the fourth minute hitting the side netting.

Impressive hustle from Jayden Nelson in the eighth minute resulted in two Galaxy players bumping into each other. He then sent a pass to Lorenzo Insigne - the Italian winger found Federico Bernardeschi at the back post, but his header went over the bar.

Three minutes later, a powerful curled shot by Brazilian winger Douglas Costa tested ‘keeper Alex Bono, who made the save.

Ayo Akinola started up top yet again for TFC, and came close to opening the scoring in the 16th minute. The Brampton native evaded a Galaxy defender before letting a shot rip from the top of the 18-yard box that went just high and wide of the net.

The visitors took the lead in the 24th minute with a quality free kick from Costa.

The Reds would tie it up in the 62nd minute with goal from substitute Jesús Jiménez - his ninth MLS goal of the season and his first since June 29th. Ifunanyachi Achara got onto the end of a Michael Bradley through ball before sending a pass to the Spanish striker in the box, whose deft flick on the ball was enough to beat LA ‘keeper Jonathan Bond.

Three minutes after levelling the match, Bernardeschi passed to Bradley as he took a shot - it was blocked for a corner. On the ensuing corner kick, Bernardeschi’s cross was punched by Bond but the ball fell to Insigne as he attempted a bicycle kick, which went wide of goal.

Bernardeschi’s perseverance on a play in the 80th minute won his side a penalty, when he was brought down by former TFC player Raheem Edwards. He stepped up to take it, and converted - six goals in eight games for the No. 10.

Tobias Time made a return to BMO Field - Catalonian midfielder Barcelona Riqui Puig scored in the 89th minute to level the match at two goals apiece. Not much Bono could do about it, the shot was well-placed into the far corner with power and precision.

This match marked Chris Mavinga’s 150th appearance for Toronto FC, a big milestone for the defender that joined the club in 2017.

Toronto’s next match is this Sunday, September 4th at BMO Field against bitter rivals CF Montréal. Kick-off is set for 7:30 pm EST.