Toronto FC III completed a comeback with two second-half penalties, but Steven Furlano (77') scored the equalizer with a spot kick of his own to earn a 4-4 draw for Alliance United FC at Centennial College, Toronto, on Wednesday night.
Alliance early on looked to be giant killers once again. Earlier, in August, they defeated Woodbridge 3-0, and the home team mirrored that scoreline in the first half against the Junior Reds.
Farrell Francis (17') headed in a Furlano corner to open the scoring for Alliance, and Bogdan Poliakhov (19') scored a couple of minutes later with a low finish past TFC goalkeeper Michael De Leo.
Alliance suffocated TFC III throughout the first half with consistent pressing, limiting them to only two shots. Alliance's quick build-up play carried all the momentum into the break after David Colelli (45') kicked a low roller into the net to make it 3-0 at the end of the half.
Toronto FC III hoped to prove that the first 45 minutes were simply uncharacteristic. League1 Ontario's highest scoring attack forced Alliance goalkeeper Maksim Agapov to give up a penalty after coming off his line to try to smother a chance.
Kunle Dada-Luke (48') put away his chance with a cautious run-up to start the second term.
TFC continued to push as momentum swung to their side. Jordan Faria (59') blazed through the left wing, and the only thing that could stop him was a trip in the box. The power dribbler tucked his penalty away to bring the deficit to one.
Zakaria Abdi (63') equalized soon after a scramble in the box. Agapov got a touch on the ball, but it wasn't enough to stop TFC from tying the game.
Dada-Luke (69') capped off the TFC scoring brigade with a solo run from the halfway line to give away team a 4-3 lead with barely twenty minutes of regular time remaining.
After two penalties went against them, Alliance finally caught a break when a cross hit Kaeson Trench's arm in the box. Furlano's successful penalty brought the score level and set up a tremendous finale.
Power shifted back to Alliance late in the second half, and the home team pushed for the win they felt they deserved after such a strong opening half, but De Leo denied two chances with diving saves.
Furlano had one more chance to steal a win off his former club, but his 90' + 5' minute shot rang off the woodwork for the last play of the game.
Alliance United FC (4-5-3) will be hard done by the draw after coughing up a big lead, and the dropped points put their playoff hopes in danger. They sit in ninth place with 15 points, four wins and a goal differential at +6 (26 GF, 20 GA).
Alliance will travel to the nation's capital for the first of a four-game road trip to finish the season, meeting with OSU Force at Quinns Point, Ottawa, on August 25 (3:30 p.m.).
Toronto FC III (9-2-3) hold onto second place with 30 points. Their goal differential remains at +26 (44 GF, 18 GA).
TFC III return home to BMO Training Ground & Academy, Toronto, awaiting a visit from North Mississauga SC on August 26 (1:00 p.m.).