New York City FC 2, Toronto FC 1 | 2018 MLS Match Recap
Jo Inge Berget struck twice in the second half after Victor Vazquez opened the scoring for Toronto, dealing a further blow to the struggling champs, who remain mired in the lower half of the Eastern Conference. Villa was forced off in the 28th minute with a groin injury, but replacement Jesus Medina was effective in his place as Berget picked up the scoring slack.
Both sides traded blows in the first half, with Maxi Moralez forcing a great save out of Alex Bono on one end and Jonathan Osorio hitting the woodwork for TFC at the other. The visitors would strike in the 37th minute, when Auro played a ball over the top into the path of Vazquez, who split the defense with his run and took advantage of a moment's hesitation from Sean Johnson to lob the NYCFC goalkeeper.
Berget changed the tone of the game just six minutes into the second half. The Norwegian forward showed great presence of mind to backheel the ball into the net after a chaotic sequence in the box, catching Bono and the Toronto defense by surprise.
NYCFC would get their winner on Berget's second of the match, just his third goal in 13 appearances since joining the team in the most recent offseason. Moralez threaded the needle with a through ball to Berget, who slid a low finish past Bono to the far post.
- 37' – TOR – Victor Vazquez | Watch
- 51' – NYC – Jo Inge Berget | Watch
- 68' – NYC – Jo Inge Berget | Watch
- THE BIG PICTURE: The win saw NYCFC leap back up above the Red Bulls to second in the East after their city rivals' win on Saturday. They're also now just three points back of Atlanta for the top spot in the conference and have a game in hand, though there will be some concern over Villa's injury. Toronto, meanwhile, remain mired in 10th place in the East, and though there is plenty of soccer to be played, the sense of urgency at BMO Field is only increasing.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: After a first half that Toronto edged, Berget set the tone for the second half with some clever thinking in a crowded box. With his back to goal inside the six-yard box, the Norwegian had the presence of mind to apply a quick backheel finish, getting his team back into the game early in the second frame.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Jo Inge Berget has been known more for his hold-up play than his finishing in this NYCFC career so far, but the burly forward found his finishing boots when his team needed them the most. Berget provided both goals in a comeback win, his clever finish for the leveler and then a placed finish for the winner that would have made Villa proud.