TORONTO – Coming into Sunday afternoon, Sebastian Giovinco trailed David Villa by five goals in the Golden Boot race. He made that race much closer on Saturday while leading his team to a statement win.
Injuries have derailed Giovinco’s 2017 season, forcing the the Italian forward to miss four games at different stages of the campaign. However, he was in fine form on Sunday as his two goals secured a 4-0 win for Toronto FC over New York City FC at BMO Field.
Giovinco opened the scoring with a beautiful curler from outside the box just past the half-hour mark. He followed that up with an outstanding free kick in the 67th minute before Jozy Altidore and Raheem Edwards added to the scoreline. The free kick was also Giovinco’s 50th career regular-season goal in 77 starts since he signed with Toronto in 2015.
As for TFC, it extends its home winning streak to 12 games and stays on top of the Supporters’ Shield standings with 43 points. The Chicago Fire are in second with 38 points, while NYCFC is on 37.
The Reds were forced to absorb pressure in the first half as NYCFC were playing with fluidity in midfield. However, the visitors failed to record any significant scoring chances. Giovinco made NYCFC pay for their futility as he ran towards his countryman Andrea Pirlo and released a stunning curling strike into the far corner.
TFC pushed for a second goal right after halftime, which Giovinco eventually converted off a free kick. It was his ninth strike against NYCFC, more than any other team in MLS.
Any hopes of mounting a comeback were killed off as Chris Penso pointed to the spot after claiming that Alexander Callens fouled Altidore. The U.S. Men’s National Team striker made no mistake to give TFC the 3-0 lead.
Raheem Edwards got involved shortly thereafter, calmly placing a shot into the bottom corner for his first career MLS goal.
Maximiliano Moralez could have salvaged a goal for NYCFC, but he missed from the penalty spot deep in second-half stoppage time.
Man of the Match
There was little debate as Sebastian Giovinco took over the game and sparked TFC with his two spectacular goals.
Moment of the Match
As the hour mark passed, there was some tension around BMO Field as TFC only had a one-goal advantage. Giovinco alleviated those concerns with a terrific free kick, giving Sean Johnson no chance of stopping it.
Match to Forget
Most of NYCFC’s defense was subpar, but Maximiliano Moralez had a glorious opportunity to level the match for the visitors and wasted the chance. Moralez also missed a penalty and his overall influence was minimal.