New York City Football Club Head Coach Ronny Deila has revealed he was proud of his players commitment in the wake of their defeat against Toronto FC.
The Boys in Blue traveled to BMO field on Saturday afternoon after a two-week international break. An early strike from Jesús Jimenez and a Thiago Martins own goal handed the hosts a 2-0 advantage before a late consolation goal from Héber halved the deficit. Speaking afterward, Deila commended his players for battling until the final whistle.
“You see in our culture in the group that really wants to win and never give up,” he said. “That’s something that gives me joy and belief for the future. I talked a lot about sticking together and finishing the game whatever. 4-0 up or 2-0 down, finish the game, do your tasks. That’s what made us champions. That’s going to be very important now if we’re going to keep winning football games and keep going in the Champions League.”
The first half was also subject to a controversial VAR decision after Talles Magno was felled in the penalty area. While referee Drew Fisher did initially award a penalty, he later overturned his decision following consultation with the Video Assistant Referee.
“I spoke with the referee and he admitted it was a mistake [to overturn the penalty],” Deila said. “He doesn't make the mistake then I don't know who made the mistake. He didn’t get the pictures that show it was a penalty that’s why he didn’t give us the penalty.
“That’s irritating for the boys because we started the game really well. We had the penalty situation, we had Taty alone with the goalkeeper. We had a lot of crosses and then they scored and they came more into the game. We didn’t get enough out of the possession and dominance we had in the game, but we have to keep on believing in what we're doing. It was nice that Héber scored a goal today and that we never stopped fighting, but it’s frustrating that we have gone two games without winning.”