New York City Draws With Toronto To Extend Unbeaten Steak

New York City FC
Alexandru Mitriță scores on a direct kick against Toronto FC. Photo: Brad Penner-USA Today Sports

New York City FC extended its unbeaten streak to six with a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Alexandru Mitriță scored New York City’s lone goal, which came in the 6th minute off a set-piece from just outside the box.

Toronto scored in the 40th minute when Alejandro Pozuelo converted on a penalty kick to level the match at 1. The kick from the spot was awarded to Toronto when NYCFC’s center back Sebastien Ibeagha was whistled for bringing down Jozy Altidore in the box.

Both teams had opportunities to take the lead in the second half but failed to convert. In the 70th minute, a clearing attempt by the Toronto backline fell to Ronald Matarrita whose left-footed shot smacked off the left upright.

Eight minutes later, Toronto was awarded a second penalty kick thanks to video review. NYCFC defender Ben Sweat was penalized for handling as he attempted to clear the ball from in front of Sean Johnson’s goal.

But Johnson, who received a yellow card for dissent following the awarding of the penalty kick, would save the spot-kick from Pozuelo.

“In the moment, it was kind of instinctual,” New York City’s goalkeeper said. “I think it’s rare when two PK’s are given in the single game and that two are taken by the same guy. I can’t remember the last time I had that happen. A retake maybe, but two separate occasions? It’s difficult. I just wanted to get a jump on it and stay as calm as possible in the situation.”

Domenec Torrent, NYCFC’s head coach, seemed pleased with the outcome of the match.

“I am happy because in the last six games of 18 points we got 16 points,” he said. “It is good news for us. That is the reason now that we are at the top of the [Eastern Conference] and we will try to finish in the first position.”

With 29 games played, New York City sits in first place with 54 points, three ahead of the Philadelphia Union and six ahead of third place Atlanta United. Atlanta has played one fewer game than Philadelphia and NYCFC.

Up next for New York City is a meeting with the San Jose Earthquakes. Kickoff time Saturday at Yankee Stadium is 12:30 p.m.