NYCFC went down 2-0 in Toronto on Sunday night in the first leg of our first-ever MLS Playoffs match.
It was a night of frustration for Patrick Vieira’s side at BMO Field but all is not lost – here are Five Things we can take away from our first postseason game…
Down but not out…
We lost the battle – we could still yet win the war…
No-one in the locker room after the game was discussing this tie like it had already slipped through our fingers.
Maxime Chanot was especially adamant that it will be a completely different story at Yankee Stadium when New York City welcomes its team onto the pitch next Sunday for the home leg.
The defender said: "There’s no point going to play this second game unless we believe we can turn it around. We’re still looking forward to this game, we still believe in ourselves – why not? You never know what’s going to happen. It’s what I believe myself and I trust it."
While we weren’t able to hit our peak level of performance yesterday, the attacking potential of this team has been seen on a number of occasions this season and it’s not as if the prospect of us scoring three unanswered goals is the stuff of fantasy fiction.
All things considered, a 1-0 defeat in this match against a talented Toronto side against a cauldron of noise wouldn’t have been a bad result but the second goal certainly felt like a sucker punch at the time.
It now leaves NYCFC in a precarious position going into the home game, tactically – there will have to be an element of calculated risk but, too much, and any potential concession would leave us needing four goals to advance due to the away goals rule.
There’s no use pretending, that second goal was big for Toronto, but it’s only halftime.
Match Highlights: Toronto v NYCFC
Reasons to Believe
Following a run of eight games undefeated at Yankee Stadium, we have every reason to feel as though we’re still alive in this Eastern Conference semifinal.
The team will lick their wounds over the next 24 hours before returning to the training pitches at SUNY Purchase to begin what could yet still be a special week.
We beat Toronto 2-0 in the regular season fixture in September 2015 which would be enough to take the game to extra time if we were able to replicate on Sunday.
The whole city was behind us last week in the days leading to our trip to Toronto and we’re going to need that again if we’re to resurrect ourselves in this tie and pull off the comeback.
An Odd Day
All four of the teams who earned the byes to the semifinals by finishing in the top two of their conferences lost on Sunday as the Knockout Round victors all got off to good starts at home.
Was it down to the fact they were all at home? Was it better to have had the extra game instead of having a whole week to think about the big upcoming semifinals clash. Or, was it just one of those strange footballing anomalies?
We Need You
Vieira touched upon the incredible atmosphere inside BMO Field as a factor in the result in his postmatch press conference following the game – now, we need you to create something even more stirring on Sunday - like you always do.
Wear your colors, bring a friend and sing loud and proud throughout the game to help the boys back into this contest.
Tickets are available below… Be there!