After four previous home draws that seemed like losses, Minnesota United's 1-1 final with Toronto FC probably felt like more.
Loons second-half substitute Kervin Arriaga's tying goal came in the 89th minute on a Saturday night when the home team could have scored any number of chances.
It also came on a night two-time MLS All-Star Emanuel Reynoso made his season debut after nearly six months away — and the temperature in the stadium and on the Loons' bench immediately rose on an already hot June night.
"It would have been a travesty if we hadn't taken anything out of that game," coach Adrian Heath said.
The Loons (5-6-5, 20 points) outshot Toronto 20-10, but the visitors hade a 5-4 edge in shots on goal in a game each time split possession evenly at 50% each.
They did so playing their ninth game in 31 days in both MLS and U.S. Open Cup competitions.
The Loons now have won twice in their last 11 games and are seventh in the Western Conference, still two spots above the playoff cut line with so much soccer still yet to be played. Toronto has won twice in their last 13 games and are 12th in the East.
Italian star Lorenzo Insigne's 58th minute gift of a goal looked like it would stand all night for Toronto, until Arriaga tied it up by knocking a ball down with his chest to his left foot for a shot that beat star goalkeeper Sean Johnson just before second-half stoppage play would have commenced.
The Loons had chance upon chance after Reynoso came onto the field to a resounding ovation in the 65th minute, not long after Insigne had given Toronto (3-5-9, 18 points) the 1-0 lead.
Sang Bin Jeong, Mender García, Franco Fragapane and others had their chance from close range or at open nets.
Even Reynoso did himself, not long after he entered the game. He slipped between defenders to launch a curling left-foot shot that Johnson dove to block.
"Well, he gave us a lift with his quality, didn't he?" Heath said. "In them moments when it's all our pressure like tonight, you need the special player to come up with something and pick a pass and beat somebody, and that's what he did. The game really turned on its head when he came on. Before that, we were doing a lot of huffing and puff and didn't really think we were going to find that pass.
"The minute he comes on, he immediately starts to create things."
Reynoso entered the game for Joseph Rosales and promptly received a rousing ovation from around the stadium.
Reynoso missed the team's first 15 regular-season games after a four-month holdout and MLS suspension. He returned to Minnesota a month ago and has been working to get into game shape since then.
Heath had praised Reynoso's work to get him conditioned since his return from an absence the team only attributed as personal matters back home in Argentina.
Reynoso made his season debut on the same night Maplewood's own Devin Padelford made his MLS debut, coming on for DJ Taylor out wide in the 69th minute.
It was a long road for him there, from selling concessions for his club team at the Allianz Field inaugural game all the way to playing for the Loons' reserve team to the first team.
"It was just electric, hearing the fans," Padelford said. "I think it helped when Rey (Reynoso) went in. The fans were already antsy and feeling excited. I kind of blacked out, but it was awesome, especially because my whole family got to come."
Heath started the recently acquired Jeong out front with attacking midfielders Rosales, Fragapane playing Reynoso's "No. 10" position and Bongokuhle Hlongwane behind him.
Captain Wil Trapp and Hassani Dotson started in the central midfield ahead of Taylor, Michael Boxall, Miguel Tapias and Zarek Valentin for injured Kemar Lawrence on the backline with St. Clair again in goal.