Harrison, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Bradley Wright-Phillips scored deep in stoppage time on Friday to rescue a point for Red Bull New York in a thrilling 2-2 draw against Toronto FC at Red Bull Arena.
Both sides took the pitch in their first league action since the World Cup recess, and despite missing Michael Bradley due to World Cup duty, Toronto FC had the better of the play in the opening minutes, creating several quality scoring chances.
Despite the visitors controlling the match for long stretches of the opening 45 minutes, it was New York that struck first in the 36th minute as Thierry Henry slid a ball behind the Toronto defense to Ambroise Oyongo, who sent a lofted cross into the box for Peguy Luyindula to head into the bottom right corner of the net.
New York took the margin into the break, but TFC took control of the match in the second half as Jermain Defoe netted the equalizer in the 55th minute when Dominic Oduro sent a low cross into the area from the right flank where Defoe casually flicked it inside the far post for his eighth goal of the season.
Toronto then took the lead in the 72nd minute in dramatic fashion as Lloyd Sam hauled down Defoe outside the box to setup a dangerous free kick opportunity.
Defoe grabbed the ball to take the free kick, but Gilberto stepped in, insisting that he take the kick, which looked to put off Defoe.
But Gilberto backed up his assertion to take the strike when he ripped the free kick with wicked pace off the underside of the crossbar and in, leaving New York goalkeeper Luis Robles with no chance to make the stop.
Fresh from an excellent performance at the World Cup, Tim Cahill came on in the 78th minute hoping to provide an offensive spark, and it was his assist in the third minute of stoppage time that lead to the equalizing tally.
Defender Matt Miazga got the play started with a long free kick into the area that was flicked on by Cahill. The ball fell to Wright-Phillips, who ripped it into the side netting to save a point for New York in dramatic fashion.