Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney said Jozy Altidore was "ambushed" by Red Bulls players on his way back to the locker room at halftime of Sunday's MLS playoff game at BMO Field.

Toronto won the home and away tie 2-2 on aggregate thanks to two away goals in the first leg in New Jersey, but the team will play at least its next match without Altidore as both he and Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan were handed red cards at halftime for violent conduct in the tunnel.

Altidore was given a yellow card for a first-half scuffle with Tyler Adams, in which Kljestan became embroiled and was also booked. Then as the two teams went down the tunnel at halftime, TV replays showed players come together on the way to their locker rooms.

According to Vanney, who did not see the events start-to-finish but was informed by those who did, Altidore was approached by Red Bulls players.

"We've lost [Altidore] as of now," Vanney said. "There's video footage I think of what happened in the tunnel. From my estimation and from what I've heard, Jozy basically got ambushed in the tunnel and we'll see where that goes.

"I just have witness accounts and we are working on the video of what happened, but Jozy was followed in, basically confronted and he turned around and from my understanding the next thing you know there were four, five or six Red Bulls people all rushing towards him at the same time and the rest we'll see."

Altidore did not speak to reporters after the game, but that night he attended the Toronto Raptors' NBA game and apologized to fans for the incident, while also briefly telling TSN his side of the story.

"It's disappointing," Altidore said. "First I've got to apologize to all the fans and all the people who came out to BMO, watching at home. He tried to come get me from behind, choked me, pushed me. He found out the hard way he shouldn't do something like that. Look, I apologize for my actions but I had to defend myself."