NYCFC 1-1 Toronto: Boys In Blue, Reds play out controversial draw
Photo: The NYCFC Nation

NYCFC were left frustrated as they played out a 1-1 draw against Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium. Jesus Medina scored in the 53rd minute to give the hosts the lead only to see substitute Jacob Shaffelburg level in the 74th minute.

Story of the match

NYCFC had the better of the early exchanges and in the seventh minute, they had their first chance as Jesus Medina crossed for Valentin Castellanos, who sent his header wide of the goal.

Four minutes later, A lazy pass was pounced on Yeferson Soteldo, who took on three Boys In Blue defenders and forced netminder Sean Johnson into his first save of the match, palming the ball around the post.

At the other end the visitors almost found the opener after some smart build-up play allowed Richie Laryea to get in behind down the right hand side. He attempted to find Ayo Akinola in the middle, but Maxime Chanot made a timely intervention.

Chances continued to come for the hosts as first Ismael Tajouri-Shradi had three in succession, the best of the bunch a 34th-minute free-kick that just sailed over Alex Bono's net.

Four minutes from halftime, Medina chipped onto the head of Keaton Parks, who flicked it to Medina, but his half-volley was off target, the last chance of a first half controlled by NYCFC.

NYCFC midfielder Andres Jasson (c.) plays the ball between Toronto's Kemar Lawrence (l.) and Michael Bradley (r.)/Photo: The NYCFC Nation
NYCFC midfielder Andres Jasson (c.) plays the ball between Toronto's Kemar Lawrence (l.) and Michael Bradley (r.)/Photo: The NYCFC Nation

The breakthrough for the hosts came in the 53rd minute as Gudmundur Thorarinsson's free-kick from just outside the box bounced in front of Bono, Medina pouncing on the rebound from close range.

Medina turned playmaker as he fed Thorarinssonwho forced Bono into a good save on the hour mark. Tajouri-Shradi then saw his effort blocked before Bono pulled off a double save against Medina and Sebastien Ibeagha.

Bono nearly suffered a massive blunder in the 71st minute as an attempted goal-kick bounced off of Medina's head and over the Toronto goalkeeper, but referee David Gantar whistled the Paraguyan for interference on the attempted clearance.

Referee David Gantar is surrounded by NYCFC players after controversially ruling out the Boys In Blue's second goal/Photo: The NYCFC Nation
Referee David Gantar is surrounded by NYCFC players after controversially ruling out the Boys In Blue's second goal/Photo: The NYCFC Nation

Toronto used that bit of good fortune to level as Patrick Mullins played a delightful through ball to substitute Jacob Shaffelburg, only on the field for five minutes and he fired a low, diagonal shot that beat Johnson at his far post.

The Reds then had a final half-chance as a cross from Nick De Leon found Bradley in the box, but he failed to take it properly.

Neither side had opportunities over the final quarter of an hour as NYCFC will feel aggrieved by the result while Toronto will feel fortunate to come away with a point.

Man of the Match: Jesus Medina

With Maxi Moralez absent from the NYCFC lineup, the Paraguyan shouldered most of the load and he was creative during the entire game. The goal, his fourth of the season, was a reward for the hard work and effort he put into this match.

Takeaways

NYCFC creates chances throughout despite draw

While the result may or may not tell the whole story, one thing that was clear was that the hosts were dominating the action, playing most of the match in the Toronto half of the field. They found success down both flanks and were constantly putting the Reds' back line under pressure. If they can find the finishing touch, more victories will surely follow.

Toronto caps successful week

Playing their third game in eight days, the Reds will be pleased at how this stretch of fixtures went. After losing 2-0 at the New York Red Bulls, They defeated defending league champions Columbus by that same score and came away with a point here after being thoroughly outplayed.

Injury concerns for NYCFC back-line

Already without right back Anton Tinnerholm, the Boys In Blue lost Alex Callens and Chanot to muscular issues during the game. With their next two games against Columbus and LAFC, manager Ronny Deila will hope today's injuries aren't serious.

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