Toronto FC 2-2 NYCFC: Reds rally in second half to salvage point
Photo: John E. Sokolowski/USA Today Sports

NYCFC was forced to settle for a disappointing 2-2 draw with Toronto FC at  BMO Field.

Santiago Rodriguez and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi gave the Boys In Blue a 2-0 lead 21 minutes into the game only to watch the Reds fight back with goals from Richie Laryea and Alejandro Pozuelo.

Story of the match

NYCFC had the first chance of the contest as Rodríguez, making his first start for the Boys In Blue, linked up with Valentin Castellanos that almost allowed him to get a shot on goal.

The Uruguayan wouldn’t have to wait long for another chance and in the 12th minute, a wonderful flowing move started when Rodriguez collected a loose ball and nodded it back to Tajouri-Shradi.

From there, a combination on the edge of the Toronto penalty box involving Rodríguez, Thiago Andrade and Castellanos allowed the Argentine to play his teammate in to score.

The home side quickly rallied, but a swift counterattack in the 21st minute allowed NYCFC double their advantage. A poor pass from Eriq Zavaleta was pounced on by Castellanos who played Tajouri-Shradi in to score.

NYCFC could easily have had a third in the 29th minute when a long-range effort from Rodríguez clipped the top of the crossbar and in the 38th minute, Maxi Moralez whistled an effort just past the post.

The half finished with a well-constructed move that saw Anton Tinnerholm cross the ball into the path of Castellanos, but his effort flew over the bar.

A pair of changes for the hosts at half time gave them an added energy and they earned a goal in the 49th minute when Pozuelo slid Laryea in behind to slot home.

The Reds now had the momentum and they leveled six minutes later when a run in behind by substitute Ifunanyachi Achara allowed him to square for Pozuelo, who made no mistake.

In the 74th minute, the Boys In Blue had a chance on the break, which saw Tajouri-Shradi almost score a fantastic effort from distance. Late on, Sean Johnson made a point-blank save from Nick DeLeon.

That proved to be the last meaningful action of the game and NYCFC settled for a draw that felt like a loss as they ready themselves for midweek action in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Man of the match: Alejandro Pozuelo

Injuries have limited the reigning MLS MVP this year, but when he's on the field he's still one of the league's elite playmakers. After missing two games with a lower-body injury, he returned Saturday to provide the through-ball for Laryea's opener (below) and then made the run to give Achara a sure option for his tap-in six minutes later. He now has a goal and three assists in nine appearances this season.