Atlanta United 1, TFC 2

Nick DeLeon came off the bench to score in the 78th minute as Toronto FC rallied to beat the defending champions Atlanta United FC 2-1 on Wednesday evening to advance to the MLS Cup final for the third time in four years.

DeLeon received the pass from Alejandro Pozuelo before he pivoted at the edge of the penalty box to make room for his shot. He curled his effort high into the United goal over a diving Brad Guzan.

Atlanta had controlled most of the second half. They were furious in the aftermath of the goal, as they believed DeLeon had fouled a player in the buildup to the goal.

Atlanta pressed in the final minutes. But TFC held out for five nerve-wracking minutes of stoppage time with Quentin Westberg making a crucial reflex save at his near post to preserve the win.

Julian Gressel had scored in the fourth minute for Atlanta. United were looking for an early knockdown in the matchup of the last two MLS Cup winners.

However, Westberg threw TFC a lifeline when he saved a Josef Martinez penalty in the 11th minute. The save would prove crucial.

Nicolas Benezet then scored three minutes later for Toronto to level the scores.

TFC now advance to face the Seattle Sounders in the MLS Cup final on November 10th. Second-seeded Seattle upset the league-leading Los Angeles FC 3-1 on Tuesday evening in the Western Conference final.

Toronto lost to the Sounders in a penalty shootout in 2016. However, they avenged that loss with a 2-0 win in the 2017 championship game. Both matches were at BMO Field.

Peace,

Burke.

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