The playoff hopes of Toronto FC (9-10-6) took a blow Saturday night, as Orlando City (8-11-6) endured significant second-half pressure to earn a road tie at BMO Field. The result keeps Toronto behind Montreal for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot and Orlando City only three points back of Toronto FC themselves.
Toronto are just 6-4-4 at home this year (1.57 points per game) and face six of their last nine MLS contests on the road, where they are 3-6-2.
After a first half almost devoid of scoring chances, Toronto FC turned up the pressure in the second half with a flurry of efforts, only to see Orlando strike with a clinical counter in the 69th minute. Chris Mueller broke down the right and threaded a cross-field pass for the run of substitute Benji Michel, who had just entered at left wing. Michel's first touch took him into the penalty area, and he slotted his second past Toronto FC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg to give Orlando a surprising lead just one minute after entering.
Michel was involved in Toronto's equalizer as well, when his foul on Richie Laryea was initially ruled a penalty kick, then placed just outside the box after Video Review. From the restart, Alejandro Pozuelo dropped a pass to Michael Bradley, whose shot was deflected by Orlando City players and fell to substitute Patrick Mullins, who fired home from eight yards for his first Toronto FC goal since being acquired on July 11.
Toronto's efforts for a winning goal saw plenty of effort exerted by Jozy Altdiore and company, but Orlando held out for the point.