New York City FC 1, Toronto FC 1 | 2019 MLS Match Recap
New York City FC and Toronto FC split the points Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium in a 1-1 draw, as the Eastern Conference sides both extended their undefeated streaks to six games.
The scoring opened in the 6th minute via NYCFC Designated Player Alexandru Mitrita, who rocketed a free kick into the top corner from 20 yards out. The Romanian forward beat the wall and TFC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg with pace.
The 1-0 NYCFC lead went away in the 40th minute, as Toronto dispatched their first penalty kick of the evening. Center back Sebastien Ibeagha dragged down Jozy Altidore in the box, and then Alejandro Pozuelo coolly dispatched his spot kick into the right-side netting.
Toronto missed a golden opportunity to take a 2-1 lead, as Pozuelo’s second penalty kick of the evening was denied in the 78th minute by Sean Johnson. This chance arose after Video Review judged that NYCFC defender Ben Sweat handled the ball in his 18-yard box.
While Toronto carried much of the second half, NYCFC nearly found a go-ahead goal in the 70th minute. However, Costa Rican left back Ronald Matarrita rang the post with a long-range volley.
Then deep into second-half stoppage time, NYCFC forward Taty Castellanos was badly bloodied with a wayward swing from TFC center back Chris Mavinga in the box. But Video Review did not produce a card or penalty kick, avoiding the chance for a late game-winner.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Decisions from head referee Chris Penso shaped much of this match, but there was also the human element at play. The proceedings took place on the 18th anniversary of 9/11, all within New York City proper. The emotion of the night sure wasn’t lost on those in the Bronx.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: We almost had three penalty kicks, though very late shouts from NYCFC forward Castellanos went unanswered. It was a messy play – not just for the bloody nose – that's bound to be a conversation point heading into the weekend. Get a PK there and NYCFC could have made it six straight wins.
- MAN OF THE MATCH. The Sean Johnson penalty-kick save stands out, but the leading man was TFC midfielder Michael Bradley. The 32-year-old put in a vintage, two-way performance. He’ll need to more nights like these as TFC seeks to solidify their spot in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.