VIAREGGIO, Italy â€” Brandon Onkony scored deep into stoppage time to give Toronto FC 3 a dramatic 3-3 tie with Italy’s S.S. Maceratese at the Viareggio Cup youth tournament Monday.
Toronto is the first MLS side take part at the prestigious competition, now in its 69th edition.
It proved to be an inauspicious start as the Toronto senior academy team gave up goals in the second and fourth minutes. Captain Liam Fraser scored in the 55th and 67th minutes to pull Toronto even but the Italians regained the lead with a goal in the 73rd minute.
“He really pushed us,” coach Danny Dichio said of Fraser’s performance,
Toronto pressed for the tying goal, which finally came in the 93rd minute.
“I think it was a great response,” said Dichio. “I believed even at halftime that we could do it.”
“I would have been bitterly disappointed if we didn’t get anything out of that game … I thought we deserved to win the game,” he added.
Dichio said his team paid for early nerves and wasn’t helped by some officiating calls, complaining that one of the Italian team’s goals was offside.
“I think overall we were better than them but we gave away two very easy goals at the start of the game that were very very preventable,” said Fraser.
Dichio’s under-20 academy team has been augmented with Fraser and four other Toronto FC 2 players.
Maceratese’s senior team plays in Italy’s third division.
Toronto plays defending champion Juventus on Wednesday before closing out group play against Dukla Prague of the Czech Republic on Saturday.
There are 10 groups at the tournament, with the top two from each advancing to a single-elimination knockout round.
Toronto FC 3
Filippo Di Bennardo, Nikola Stakic, Brandon Onkony, Robert Boskovic, Andrew Dias, Aidan Daniels, Luca Uccello, Liam Fraser (capt.), Matthew Srbely, Malik Johnson, Shaan Hundal.
The Canadian Press