The Impact's Matteo Mancosu opened the scoring, nodding in a rebound after TFC goalkeeper Clint Irwin couldn't hold on to a long-distance Marco Donadel shot in the 19th minute. Toronto striker Jozy Altidore scored the equalizer just over 10 minutes later after receiving a pass from Raheem Edwards near the penalty spot.
Altidore's strike was mired in controversy as Impact defender Daniel Lovitz had gone down with an apparent knee injury in the moments leading up to the goal, with TFC electing to play on for several seconds until the U.S. international was able to slot home just yards from where Lovitz was still prone on the turf.
The nature of the equalizer seemed to set off some emotions, leading to increasingly chippy play as time went on, and the teams combined for seven yellow cards during the remainder of the match.
Neither side could find another goal despite several good chances at both ends of the pitch, with Ignacio Piatti having the best opportunity after he drew a penalty in the 54th minute. However, the Argentine could not convert the subsequent spot kick, sending his effort screaming over the crossbar.
Both teams fielded nearly full-strength lineups for Wednesday's contest, which — especially in Toronto's case — could be considered somewhat surprising. TFC has an unprecedented 46.5-hour turnaround between the first leg and an MLS regular season match in Toronto against the New England Revolution on Friday, and heavy squad rotation is expected for that match.
TFC will host the Impact in the second leg on Tuesday.