TORONTO – Jesus Jimenez scored and New York City FC conceded a goal of their own as Toronto FC beat the defending MLS Champions 2-1 on Saturday.
New York (1-3-1) had the ball high but failed to take advantage until the Brazilian substitute Heber scored on a stylish header in the 92nd minute. For Toronto (2-2-1), it was the second win in a row.
This is the first game in the BMO field since Canada qualified for the World Cup by defeating Jamaica 4-0 a week ago. It was warm – five degrees Celsius – kickoff and calm, compared to the 29,122 salesout crowd for the Canadian competition.
“Let them listen to you in Qatar,” the PA announcer urged the 21,802 announced crowd to sing “O Canada” before the kickoff.
Toronto rose to the game and went ahead in the 31st minute when Jonathan Osorio’s ball split the spectators’ defense into an undefeated Jimenez, who beat Shaun Johnson in the corner for the third goal of the season.
Osorio, his 297th appearance in all Toronto color competitions, flew in the first half. And in the 60th minute he was rewarded with a congratulations as he left.
Toronto doubled their lead in the 43rd minute when the ball bounced off a free kick by a dangerous Alejandro Pozzuelo from Thiago Martins. The Brazilian nominee was under pressure from Toronto’s Lucas McInton, who rose to fill the ball.
TFC bent but could not break the pressure of the spectators in the second half. Alex Bono saved Keaton Parks acrobatics in the 68th minute to maintain Toronto’s advantage.
The NYCFC’s Checkered League has started, in part, due to a busy start-season schedule due to the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. After Toronto, the New Yorkers will travel to Seattle on Wednesday for the first leg of their Champions League semifinals with the Sounders.
NYCFC started brilliantly but had the first good goal chance in Toronto when Jimenez shot high in the seventh minute after a free kick.
Toronto missed a bullet when referee Drew Fisher reversed his eighth-minute penalty after Tales Magno went down in the penalty box. Fisher initially thought wingback Kosi Thompson, starting his first TFC, had amputated the Brazilian’s leg, but video reviews showed Magno tangled in his own leg.
Thompson’s yellow card was also revoked. Champion Thompson accidentally clipped the NYCFC player with his knee, sparking controversy over whether he had lost his balance.
The 19-year-old from Toronto, who had previously made two brief appearances this season, was replaced by Jahkile Marshall-Rutti, who underwent a procedure on his knee on Friday. Coach Bob Bradley said nothing serious was found and he did not expect the teenage wingback to be out for long.
NYCFC striker Valentin Castellanos fired a wide shot in the 18th minute after a crowd that the TFC thought should have been flagged offside.
Bono Parks’ long-range shot in the 57th minute but was able to score on a rebound. Substitute Jordan Peruzza came close with a shot in stoppage time.
NYCFC probably deserves better in the league game.
New York lost their opening match of the season 1-0 in the Los Angeles Galaxy, losing in the 90th minute. It drew 0-0 in a game with Vancouver where it had 70 percent possession and beat the Whitecaps 19-10 (4-1 on goal shots). It split his first two home games, losing 2-0 to Philadelphia Union before beating CF Montreal 4-1 despite having a 73.2 percent hold – the highest of any team going to a weekend game this season.
The New Yorkers performed well in CONCACAF’s elite club competition, sending Costa Rica’s Santos de Guapales and Guatemala’s Communications FC.
Although NYCFC beat their opponents 11-5 in four Champions League games, it was difficult to score in the league game. Compare that to 2021 when New York failed to score in just two of its first 25 matches.
Wingback Jacob Schaefelberg returned to Toronto at 11 after missing the last two games due to hamstring problems.
The Toronto striker was without Ayo Aquino, who is close to returning from reconstructive knee surgery. Kadin Chung, who last started in place of martial-bread, did not wear clothes due to hamstring problems.
Kobe Franklin, who signed a short-term loan agreement from TFC II on Friday, began the bench.
Defenders Anton Tinerhome (Achilles Tendon) and Maxim Chanot (upper body) were absent from the NYCFC.
Former Brazilian star Ronaldinho was present at the game.