In two games, New York City FC has scored six goals in it’s first two games earning four points to start the season. On the other side of the ball, Toronto FC leaves the Metropolitan Area with four points as well, but both teams had chances to seize the full three points today.
NYCFC and Toronto ended their match in a 2-2 draw in the home opener of the 2016 season for NYCFC. The Yankee Stadium crowd looked ready for a high scoring match and they got one.
The pre-match team news started the day off with controversy as head coach Patrick Vieira started the match off with a 3-4-2-1 formation. Fans dubbed this the “Yankee Stadium Special” as the narrow field dimensions caused Vieira to try and push forward rather than sitting back.
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Club captain David Villa started the scoring off with a penalty won by Thomas McNamara in the 23rd minute. A mere five minutes later, Villa had a brace off of a corner that was controversial as there were shouts from Toronto for hand ball in the six yard box. This was also the moment were NYCFC looked to have cooled down as it was all Toronto from then on.
On the verge of the first half whistle, Toronto scored off of a set piece by Sebastian Giovinco as Damien Perquis was able to squeak a goal by Josh Saunders to get the Reds back into the match. New York was able to limit Giovinco for most of the first half, but he was able to turn the tide after that.
Both teams had multiple chances, but nothing came from them. As time was winding down, Vieira saw it as an opportune time to go defensive.
In the 76th minute, a mere seconds after Vieira had called for a sub, the reigning MLS MVP turned the NYCFC defense and scored a great goal with his left foot past the diving Saunders.
Giovinco was all over the City defense throughout the second half and he single handedly gained momentum for his club. His pace, intelligence and skill opened up the field for Toronto.
After the goal, the defensive substitutions came on as Mikey Lopez and Ethan White came on for Khiry Shelton and Tommy McNamara. Debutant StevEn Mendoza also came on for Tony Taylor and was impressive with his pace, but he and City could not find a late winner.
Both teams will take the point but NYCFC and Co. had a commanding 2-0 lead and let it slip. NYCFC will have to build off this and hopefully get back on track against Orlando City this upcoming Friday.