Match Recap: NYCFC 0-4 Toronto

Recap Toronto loss

NYCFC Goals: 

Toronto Goals: Giovinco 32mins & 66mins, Altidore 75mins, Edwards 81mins

A Quick Look

An injury-hit NYCFC missed the chance to climb to the top of the Eastern Conference on Sunday afternoon, going down to a 4-0 defeat to leaders Toronto FC.

Sebastian Giovinco scored a world class goal in each half, Jozy Altidore scored from the spot and Raheem Edwards scored late to preserve the hosts’ 12-game unbeaten home run.

Missing seven players through injury or suspension, the Boys in Blue couldn’t get themselves on the board, falling to a second road defeat in Canada in successive trips. 

What Happened

NYCFC went into this game knowing that a victory would see them leapfrog Toronto to the top of the Eastern Conference by virtue of a superior head-to-head record.

The teams had shared a 2-2 tie at Yankee Stadium ten days earlier and the boys in blue had inflicted a defeat on fellow conference pacesetters Chicago last time out but could this run of form continue at a BMO Field where Greg Vanney’s men hadn’t tasted defeat in 11 games?

Andrea Pirlo started his tenth MLS match for NYCFC in place of the suspended Yangel Herrera and the Italian was an influential figure in the early going with some deft touches in the midfield third but Toronto boasted the game's first two meaningful chances.

Giovinco produced both, first laying the ball across the face of goal just beyond Jozy Altidore, just before pulling the trigger from 25 yards, firing narrowly wide with a shot which had Sean Johnson scrambling across his goal.

Headers from Alex Ring and Maxi Moralez on 20’ and 25’ reminded the home side of the threat posed by their visitors but it was TFC who opened the scoring on 32’. 

The dangerous Giovinco was the man who provided it with an unstoppable strike from range, curling the ball into the inner-sidenetting beyond Johnson’s despairing dive, making it 1-0.

Pirlo went close with a free-kick in the closing seconds of the first period but it had been a slightly subdued first 45’ for Patrick Vieira’s men in Canada leaving themselves plenty to do after the break.

NYCFC have proven adept at chasing deficits in recent months and they set about repeating the trick again at BMO Field with Jack Harrison taking it upon himself to drive his team forward in the early minutes of the second half.

The cohesion between midfield and attack that was missing in the first half was there and Villa started getting service, almost levelling with a fierce drive towards the bottom corner on 60’, drawing an excellent save from Alex Bono.

Rookie Jonathan Lewis entered the game shortly after in place of Tommy McNamara but a few minutes later Toronto doubled their advantage through Giovinco who once again produced a moment of real class courtesy of a free-kick that left Johnson with no chance.

Sean Okoli was sent on in place of Pirlo but it was Ethan White who went close to striking back on 73’ when Villa found him with a clever cross across the face of goal but the defender couldn’t turn his strike on target.

A minute later, Toronto were awarded a penalty when the referee decided Callens had dragged down Altidore.

It looked a soft call but the American international made no mistake with the spot-kick, driving his penalty into the top corner to make it 3-0.

With eight minutes to go, Edwards drove a final nail into the away team’s coffin, drilling in a volley when Vieira’s men were caught up the field chasing a goal.

Moralez had the chance to reply from the penalty spot in stoppage-time but missed the target, proving that it just wasn’t NYCFC’s day.

Key Moment

There wasn’t a great deal between the teams in the second period before Giovinco doubled Toronto's advantage on the hour mark.

The Atomic Ant’s 25-yard strike came after a strong period from NYCFC which saw Villa almost level with his powerful strike which was well-saved by Bono.

Man of the Match

Alexander Callens

Despite the heavy defeat, the Peruvian defender was faultless in his display at the heart of defense, repelling a number of Toronto attacks with his brand of authoritative defending and driving his team forward with strong runs from deep.

Missing his regular defensive partner in Chanot, Callens rose to the challenge and was unfortunate to be on the losing side, especially seeing as the penalty given against him for a foul on Altidore looked harsh to say the least.

Social Post of the Game

Stats and Milestones

  • NYCFC are now 11-7-4 for the 2017 season
  • This result leaves NYCFC in third place in the Eastern Conference behind Chicago and Toronto
  • Andrea Pirlo started his tenth game of the season
  • Kwame Awuah came on as a substitute in his home city
  • NYCFC went down to successive defeats in Canada in their last two road games 

How They Lined Up

NYCFC XI: Johnson, White, Callens, Brillant, Sweat, Pirlo, Ring, Moralez, Harrison, McNamara, Villa (C)

Andrea Pirlo returned to the team in place of the suspended Yangel Herrera in midfield, while Frederic Brillant continued at center back in Maxime Chanot’s absence.

Tommy McNamara and Jack Harrison provided the width on either side of David Villa with Alex Ring and Maxi Moralez in behind.

What’s Next

The only home Hudson River Derby of the season is up next on Sunday evening when Red Bulls come to the Bronx. Get your tickets below!

Match Recap: NYCFC 0-4 Toronto -
For the City - Stories

Join us on our mission to empower NYC youth through soccer.