Riverhounds earn draw with Toronto FC II
Two comebacks and a frantic finish earned the Riverhounds their first point of the season with a 2-2 draw Sunday against Toronto FC II at the Ontario Soccer Centre.
Romeo Parkes and Conor Branson each scored their first goal for the Riverhounds (0-1-1), who played without three starters from their opening match — Kevin Kerr, Lebo Moloto and Sergio Campbell.
Nick Hagglund headed in a corner kick to give Toronto (1-0-2) the lead after just 12 minutes, but Parkes tied the score four minutes before halftime by dribbling from midfield and working a give-and-go with Marshall Hollingsworth to get a shot away a step inside the penalty area.
The Riverhounds again fell behind early in the second half, after Raheem Edwards got around Mike Green on the left side, which forced Green to pull him down and concede the penalty. Riverhounds goalie Hunter Gilstrap guessed correctly on the penalty kick, but Edwards’ low shot to Gilstrap’s left slipped just under the goalkeeper’s arm.
Trailing by a goal, the Riverhounds pushed forward with numbers in the final minutes and won a pair of free kicks late near the Toronto box.
The second of those turned into the equalizer as Branson, after a faked attempt by Parkes, surprised Toronto by taking the kick from right of the goal and scoring with a shot into the bottom left corner.
The tying goal at the start of stoppage time set up end-to-end play in the final minutes.
A poorly cleared Toronto corner allowed the host to lob a second ball into the box, and Gilstrap could only punch the ball to the 18-yard line. Robert Boskovic controlled the ball and had a shot at the open net, but Karsten Smith tracked back defensively to boot the ball off the goal line for the Riverhounds.
Smith’s clearance sent the Riverhounds the other direction, and Parkes rounded the last defender to enter the Toronto box, only to have Toronto goalie Alex Bono preserve the tie with a close-range save.