D.C. United's 17-year-old academy product Griffin Yow scored his first MLS goal, volleying home a dramatic equalizer two minutes from time to help D.C. United salvage a 2-2 home draw against Toronto FC in Week 12.
A goal by another academy graduate, Toronto FC's 20-year-old Ayo Akinola, looked to be enough to give TFC a come-from-behind win after both clubs exchanged first-half goals. Akinola came off the bench at halftime for starting forward Jozy Altidore and headed home a go-ahead goal for the visitors on the hour mark. With a 2-1 lead, Toronto appeared to comfortably manage the advantage before Yow's sensational strike.
D.C. took an early 5th minute lead after forward Ola Kamara pressured TFC center back Omar Gonzalez and won the ball. He raced in alone on goal and beat Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg, who got a hand to the ball but couldn't stop it from rolling off the right post and into the empty net.
Kamara's goal was the first time that D.C. United scored a first-half goal in nearly a full calendar year. They came close to a quick second goal after Yamil Asad ripped a shot against the underside of the crossbar in the 11th minute.
Spotty defending gave Toronto FC an equalizer just five minutes later after D.C. center back Donovan Pines failed to properly clear a cross into the box. The ball fell perfectly for Alejandro Pozuelo, who calmly placed the ball into the back of the net for the momentary 1-1 draw before the heroics by the youngsters in the second half.
- 5' — DC — Ola Kamara | WATCH
- 17' — TOR — Alejandro Pozuelo | WATCH
- 60' — TOR — Ayo Akinola | WATCH
- 88' — DC — Griffin Yow | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: There are no two ways about it: This was a massive result for a D.C. United team that had lost three of its last five and generally struggled to score. This match was setting up for more D.C. disappointment after they watched their early lead disappear. But having Yow get the equalizer in the manner he did should provide the team an injection of enthusiasm as they await for the arrival of new attacking acquisition Yordy Reyna. Meanwhile, Toronto once again leave points on the table and at this rate they'll need an exceptional stretch run to keep pace with the Columbus Crew.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Yow's volley strike was a lot tougher than he made it look. But he found a way to get a clean hit and the joy on his face tells the story as far as what the goal meant for him and his club.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: A handful of players on both sides had their moments, but Yow stood out for the energy and positive boost he gave to his team after coming into the match at halftime. He was rewarded with the goal at the end.
- D.C. United: Wednesday, Sept. 23 at Nashville SC (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)
- Toronto FC: Wednesday, Sept. 23 at NYCFC (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+; TSN1/4 in Canada)