Jesus Jimenez scored his third goal of the season in Toronto FC’s 2-1 win over defending MLS champions, New York City FC, on Saturday.
TFC scored both goals in a good first half display, but the opening 45 could have gone a whole lot differently.
A penalty was awarded against Kosi Thompson for bringing down Talles Magno in the area.
Thankfully, it was disaster averted for Thompson, who was making his first start for The Reds. A VAR review overturned the penalty decision as replays failed to show any contact actually being made on the play.
Coming off of a good performance against D.C. United before the international break, Alejandro Pozuelo was influential again in this match.
The Spaniard got the play started for the first goal, getting the ball to Osorio, who then found Jiménez in-between defenders. Jiménez made no mistake with his finish, coolly slotting it to Sean Johnson’s right.
With TFC looking more confident with the ball after scoring, it didn’t take long for them to find their second.
Pozuelo was involved once more before the end of the half as his dangerous free kick into the penalty area lead to a Thiago Martins own goal.
With Lukas MacNaughton challenging for the header, the ball glanced off of Martins’ head, onto the post, and into the net. Johnson could do nothing about it.
After their strong start, Toronto were able to head into halftime with a two-goal lead for the first time this season.
NYCFC came out of the break looking like the better team but were limited to shots from distance that Alex Bono comfortably dealt with.
It was substitute Jordan Perruzza who would get TFC’s best chance of the second half. After coming onto the pitch in the 84th, the striker had an opportunity to score on a counterattack, but fired a powerful shot just over the crossbar.
Only minutes later, NYCFC would find a consolation goal.
Héber would get the lone goal for NYCFC, nodding it in from an Alfredo Morales cross in the 92nd minute. The Brazilian was left unmarked in the box and finished the chance well.
NYCFC could not create enough high-quality chances to find two goals in the second half.
New York City FC (1-3-1) are struggling to replicate their championship form at the start of the 2022 MLS campaign.
For TFC, head coach Bob Bradley can take away a bunch of positives from his team’s victory.
Kosi Thompson was the latest TFC academy graduate to earn a debut for the first team, replacing Jakheele Marshall-Rutty in the starting eleven.
Other than his foul in the box that never was, Thompson was sharp on the day.
TFC defended well, but their lapse of concentration in stoppage time might be something coach Bradley highlights in the coming days. He will not want that to be a recurring issue late in games.
Toronto FC will go on the road to face Real Salt Lake in their next match on April 9th.
New York City FC are up against the Seattle Sounders in CONCACAF Champions League action on April 6th.