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Late goals from Altidore, Ricketts help Toronto FC top NYCFC

Photo by Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports

After knocking on New York City FC’s door all night, Toronto FC finally broke through with a pair of late goals to earn a 2-0 win in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Scores from Jozy Altidore and Tosaint Ricketts in the 84th and 92nd minute, respectively, served as catharses for the fans at BMO Field on Sunday. The home side applied heavy offensive pressure all match against the No. 2 seed in the East, who was taking part in its first playoff match in franchise history.

Altidore tallied the third playoff goal of his career when he rocketed a loose ball in the box into the net over the head of NYCFC left back Ronald Matarrita. Ricketts, who entered the match as a substitute moments before that goal, sealed the contest when he tapped in his own rebound after getting on the end of a cross.

In what was a physical, intense and fast-paced contest throughout, a total of 31 fouls were called by referee Silviu Petrescu, with six yellow cards handed out and five of them going to NYCFC players.

This was also the first victory for Toronto over NYCFC in six overall meetings. The two sides will meet at Yankee Stadium next Sunday in the second-leg fixture.


Though the reigning MLS MVP couldn’t find a goal himself on the evening, Sebastian Giovinco applied intense work rate in the attacking third to help Toronto FC generate chance after chance before his teammates finally broke the scoreless deadlock.


BMO Field erupted after Jozy Altidore’s goal as frustration had been building up all evening from the physical battles between the two sides and missed chances for the home team.


With NYCFC absorbing pressure all night, the only chances for the away side to threaten came on counter-attacks. Steven Mendoza, however, was unable to generate many opportunities for his side to snatch an away goal.


    • 28 goals in his last 50 matches for TFC and USA (Wood 21 in last 50)
      15 in his last 20 matches combined since July 31. (Wood 13 in 20 in his hot stretch last Spring)
      3 in his last 5 playoff matches, 6 in 6 qualifying matches (Wood 1 in Copa America, 2 in 6 WCQ)

      Jozy will turn 27 next Sunday he will have 37 US goals, anyone know how many goals Landon Donovan had when he turned 27 in March of 2009? 37, Clint had 17 on his 27th birthday, think about that next time you want to bench Altidore, to “blood” some young prospects.

      • But what you fail to appreciate is that his name is Lazy Antiscore. We can’t expect to win too many games with a guy named THAT leading the line!

      • I don’t know what Pittsburgh University was thinking when they signed a field goal kicker whose name is Blewitt, or why Dortmund always Passlack to play the ball out of the back.

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