New York Red Bulls 1, Toronto FC 2 | MLS Cup Playoffs Recap
Plenty of breathless hype swirled around this first leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinal series at Red Bull Arena on Monday night. Could anyone actually knock off Supporters' Shield winners Toronto FC, a record-setting team that many are tipping as the best side in league history?
Well, for much of the evening's proceedings, it looked like the New York Red Bulls might be able to, even despite an early Toronto lead, when Victor Vazquez sent in a rebound in the eighth minute. From there, though, a testy, fairly foul-filled first half saw New York often winning possession, culminating in an equalizer just before halftime, when Daniel Royer converted a penalty after a foul in the box on Bradley Wright-Phillips.
In the second half, though, the Red Bulls couldn't quite pull ahead, despite Wright-Phillips' and Gonzalo Veron's shots on goal. And just when it looked like RBNY were closing in on a winning goal, Sebastian Giovinco produced a moment of free kick magic, converting from 20 yards out and curling it past goalkeeper Luis Robles.
The result leaves the Red Bulls with a hill to climb as they get set to visit Toronto this Sun., Nov. 5 in the second leg of the Conference Semifinals (3 pm ET; ESPN in US | TSN1 and TSN4, TVAS in Canada).
- 8' -- TOR -- Victor Vazquez | WATCH
- 45' + 3' -- NY -- Daniel Royer (PK) | WATCH
- 72' -- TOR -- Sebastian Giovinco | WATCH
1. ADAMS ASTOUNDS: A bright spot for the New York Red Bulls tonight, Tyler Adams continues to impress as a seemingly hyper-speed wonder who should probably be playing in the midfield, after all. Even though his club lost, his own shift strengthened his case at the country level.
2. DEEP CUTS?: Both Vazquez and goalkeeper Alex Bono might be out for their home match in Toronto. Will that really make a difference for what's being hailed as the deepest team ever in the league? We'll find out.
3. THE MLS FREE-KICK KING: Well, this tweet sums it up pretty nicely, about Giovinco.
- NY: Sunday, Nov. 5 at Toronto (3 pm ET; ESPN in US | TSN1 and TSN4, TVAS in Canada)