It was almost as if Sebastian Giovinco had not missed any time at all.
Giovinco was dangerous in his return from adductor and quad injuries, as he helped Toronto FC salvage a 2-2 draw on the road against the Montreal Impact on Sunday. The Italian, who was making his first start since Aug. 27, kept Montreal’s defenders and goalkeeper Evan Bush on their toes throughout the match. Ultimately it was Giovinco's cross that led to Toronto’s game-tying goal in the 86th minute.
“It was a good debut,” said TFC head coach Greg Vanney. “It was good to get him 90 minutes. He had some decent looks on goal and he hit some good shots. All that considered, and he’s been out seven weeks, it’s a good day.”
Giovinco was injured in the second half of Toronto’s last meeting with Montreal. He left in the 67th minute of that 1-0 loss, and was initially expected to miss four weeks. He ended up missing seven, however, and TFC went 1-1-3 in his absence.
“It was good to get him and Jozy [Altidore] on the field together for 90 minutes,” said Vanney. “That’s just going to keep building over the next couple of weeks.”
Both Altidore and Giovinco assisted on the game's final goal, as Giovinco launched a cross from the left wing into the box that was chested down by Altidore. Tosaint Ricketts was there to get on the end of the pass, and he made no mistake from close range.
Giovinco's contribution on the equalizer was a just reward for his effort throughout the encounter. The reigning MLS MVP, who has a team-high 14 assists, finished with a blistering nine shots directed at Bush. One of them came off a free kick from 25 yards that rang off the crossbar. Another was denied by Bush's fingertips.
Giovinco refused to be denied, and he helped rescue a late point for Toronto by sending in the ball from the left flank that ended up in the back of the net.
“Whenever we play Montreal, they do a good job of getting numbers around him pretty quickly,” said Vanney. “It forces him to drop a little deeper, to drift a little wider. When he stays central, he’s dealt with pretty physically so he has to move around the field a little bit more.”