Toronto FC 1, New York City FC 1 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
New York City FC extended their strong run of form with a 1-1 draw at Toronto FC on Wednesday evening, as Kwadwo Poku whipped a gorgeous curling finish past Clint Irwin to earn a share of the points at BMO Field.
Will Johnson tapped in from close range just before halftime to peg back the visitors and TFC dictated terms for most of the second half. But it wasn't enough to dislodge NYCFC's composed defense, and the Reds had to settle for a deadlock.
On the road in the midst of a busy week, NYCFC manager Patrick Vieira rang the changes in his starting 11 as Poku, Mehdi Ballouchy and Patrick Mullins were among several reserves handed important roles in a 4-3-3 shape. Meanwhile, Toronto got solid displays from the likes of Mo Babouli and Jay Chapman.
- 16' – NYC – Kwadwo Poku (Patrick Mullins, Steven Mendoza)
- 42' – TOR – Will Johnson (Josh Williams, Mo Babouli)
- Full box score
- Watch Highlights
1. BLUES' BENCH BRINGS IT: Eyebrows shot up when NYCFC's lineup was released pregame; no David Villa, no Andrea Pirlo, no Tommy McNamara (who didn't even make the gameday 18). But the reinforcements brought home a point with a battling display against TFC's talent, giving their teammates some much-needed rest ahead of Saturday's New York Derby clash with the Red Bulls.
2. ATOMIC ANT, REPELLED: Sebastian Giovinco is the sort of player who isn't stopped so much as contained. But as the OPTA charts show, NYCFC's oft-criticized defense stood tall against the reigning league MVP, limiting his looks at goal and hampering his attempts to connect passes in the attacking third. (Josh Saunders also made a huge save on a menacing Seba free kick.)
3. TWO MORE DROPPED POINTS IN THE SIX: TFC were rightly lauded for their strong work on that long season-opening road trip, and BMO Field is obviously a fantastic venue...but the Reds have now gone winless in their last two games. All those backloaded home games on their schedule are only an advantage if they rack up victories more often than not.