NYCFC – 0
Toronto FC – 2
Match Recap …
New York City FC dropped a 2-0 decision to Toronto FC in the opening leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals Sunday night at BMO Field.
Jozy Altidore broke the stalemate when he latched onto a loose ball and fired into the net from seven yards out in the 84th minute.
Tousaint Ricketts added a goal on a rebound in the second minute of stoppage time.
Eirik Johansen made his second consecutive start in goal and he twice denied Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco in the first half, lunging to stop his shot from eight yards in the 12th minute and parrying a 28-yard free kick away four minutes from halftime.
RJ Allen had a quality scoring chance in the 81st minute, but his shot from the edge of the 18-yard box was tipped over the bar by TFC goalkeeper Clint Irwin for a corner kick.
The second leg is at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 6 with a time to be determined.
How They Lined Up …
Patrick Vieira made one change to his starting XI from the side that downed Columbus Crew SC, 4-1, to end the regular season last Sunday. Mikey Lopez enters the lineup for Andrea Pirlo, who misses out with a tight muscle in his leg which is thought not to be serious. Lopez lines up next to Federico Bravo in the center of midfield.
Frank Lampard entered the match on the hour mark, replacing Lopez and Khiry Shelton came on for Villa in the 78th minute. Four minutes from full time, Tony Taylor came on for Steven Mendoza.
Man of the Match …
In a match with few scoring chances for either side, the tallest player on the field came up the biggest. In only his second career MLS start, Johansen made three saves, including two terrific saves against Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco.
Key Moment …
With the match just 12 minutes old, Toronto FC had a golden chance to take an early lead with the ball on the foot of Sebastian Giovinco just eight yards from goal. The forward put his attempt on frame, but Eirik Johansen stretched out to make the critical save. Even though NYCFC went on to lose the game 2-0, it could have been worse if the team had conceded earlier on in the game.
Stats and Milestones …
This was the first-ever New York City FC playoff match.
What It Means …
The two-legged series moves to Yankee Stadium Nov. 6. The team to score more goals on aggregate wins. Away goals are the tiebreaker.