Put another notch in the increasing tally of matches where Sebastian Giovinco has stolen points for Toronto FC. The atomic ant scored a 76th minute goal to salvage a 2-2 draw against New York City FC. The goal itself was classic Giovinco, a nothing play that the Italian turned into a equalizer and Toronto FC turned into a point.
It was his second goal of the season, a tally to which he has also added two assists. Today's goal completed a comeback after David Villa scored a pair of first half goals to put New York up 2-0. Damien Perquis had Toronto's other goal of the game, which came just a minute before halftime.
While Perquis had a good match on the offensive side of the ball, he and the rest of the backline struggled defensively. Defending a side like New York City FC is always difficult in their small home stadium, but there were some worrying first half moments for the new-look backline.
David Villa's second goal, for example, never should have counted because he brought the ball down with his arm. It also never should have happened in the first place, as better defensive coverage and composure could have avoided the situation altogether.
Villa and New York came very close to scoring a third goal as well, but through a bit of luck and a slight shift in playing style Toronto would keep the margin at two. Then, on the last kick of the first half Perquis scored off of a Giovinco free kick. The goal was crucial, as it meant Toronto didn't have to chase the game in the second half and instead waited for their opportunity.
That opportunity would finally come, although it was not an obvious scoring chance at first. After good transitional play between the defense and forwards, Will Johnson would play a cross field ball to Sebastian Giovinco. Giovinco would beat his defender and slot the ball across goal into the back of the net, easy as that.
It was one of the few cohesive plays that the club had all game, however, as the new-look midfield struggled to string passes together. New York City FC did a good job of taking advantage of their home stadium, clogging up the middle of the park. It was the second straight game that the club has had a sub- 70 per cent passing percentage, which has perhaps been the biggest concern about their play so far this season.
However, even if their play hasn't been stellar so far, taking four points from the first two games is a solid start to the year. It's too early to worry all that much about how the team is picking up these points, especially considering the number of new faces in Toronto's lineup.
The club were expecting a minimum of 8 points from their first 8 games on the road. They already have four, and are halfway there with six games of their season opening road trip remaining. That's a good start, no matter how you spin it.
They may have stolen points for the second straight match, and Giovinco had to rescue them again. But Toronto FC can exit the big apple with their heads held high, knowing they have gotten their season off to the right start.