Ayo Akinola scores in Toronto FC draw at DC United

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Ayo Akinola
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The young striker of Nigerian descent came off the bench to help his team salvage a point in the American capital

Ayo Akinola scored his first goal of the 2020 MLS regular season as Toronto FC played to a 2-2 draw with DC United at Audi Park.

The 20-year-old American-Canadian of Nigerian descent had missed the first three games of the season's return with a hamstring injury all of which ended in victories over Canadian rivals Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps.

Akinola was back in the next series of games against the same opponents and this time they were not lucky, losing 1-0 and 3-2 to Impact and the Whitecaps respectively before bagging a 2-1 win in Montreal last week.

DC would represent the first team Toronto would play aside from their Canadian rivals since the regular season returned following the MLS is Back tournament in August. It was the American capital side that got things off the ground as early as the fifth minute thanks to Norwegian striker of Sierra Leone descent, Ola Kamara.

Toronto equalised 12 minutes later via Alejandro Pozuelo. It remained 1-1 at half-time and Akinola come on for American striker Jozy Altidore at the start of the second half and got his goal on the hour mark.

Richie Laryea’s cross on the right found former Valencia and Argentine winger Pablo Piatti who then flicked the ball into Akinola’s path to head home.

Toronto looked like they were going to make it back-to-back away wins and their first on the road outside Canada, but they were denied that chance with Griffin Yow’s 88th-minute equaliser for DC.

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Akinola’s 45 minutes on the pitch were very productive beyond his goal with two shots on target, three successful dribbles from four attempts, 18 touches on the ball and seven accurate passes at 100%.

Akinola made headlines during the MLS is Back tournament in Orlando, Florida, scoring five goals in two games. He started off with a brace in a 2-2 draw with DC in the group phase before making it better with a hat-trick in a 4-3 win over Montreal. Toronto made it to the round of 16 but lost out to New York City FC 3-1 with the competition ultimately won by Portland Timbers.

Toronto will be on the road again when they tackle NYCFC at the Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

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