Toronto strikes late, squeezes past Orlando

Jozy Altidore’s goal in the 86th minute lifted Toronto FC to a 2-1 victory over Orlando City on Wednesday night in front of 23,802 at Camping World Stadium.

Altidore, who entered the game in the 58th minute, scored his fifth goal of the season after Sebastian Giovinco played him a through-ball past the Orlando back line, making a run past goalkeeper Joe Bendik to slot the ball into the net. It was Altidore’s fifth goal in six games.

“I don’t know if we gave away, but they took some chances,” Orlando coach Jason Kreis told reporters after the game. “It’s a night where I thought we did some really nice things, I’m still seeing improvements, I’m still seeing positive signs that we’re heading in a good direction.”

The Lions found themselves conceding early after Tosaint Ricketts scored the opening goal for Toronto seven minutes into the game. Giovinco played a quick throw-in ball to Ricketts where he overpowered Tommy Redding on a run, slotting the ball past Bendik.

Giovinco finished with two assists on Wednesday, tallying a total of 13 assists for the season.

Cyle Larin tied the game for Orlando City after heading in a ball from Luke Boden in the 56th minute. It was Larin’s 13th goal of the season for the Lions, a team high.

Larin had a chance to tie the game before the final whistle when his shot hit off the post in stoppage time.

Orlando (5-7-13, 28 points) maintained 56.8 percent of possession for the entire game, outshooting Toronto 12-8.

Both teams met last time on April 26, which saw the Lions take a narrow 3-2 victory over the Reds after Ricardo Kaka scored the game-winning penalty kick in stoppage time.

Wednesday night’s victory for Toronto lifted them to first place in the eastern conference. Greg Vanney’s men improved to 12-7-7 with 43 points.

Tony Rocha, who joined the first team from Orlando City B, was named to the starting lineup for the first time in his MLS career.

Orlando City hosts New York City FC on Sunday at Camping World Stadium at 7 p.m.

(Photo courtesy of Orlando City Communications)

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