Toronto FC 3, New York Red Bulls 1 | 2019 MLS Match Recap
Despite a terrific early goal on a Jozy Altidore flick, Toronto were second-best much of the night. But New York's outside backs, so critical to their league-best defense last season, were each victimized to allow Toronto to double their lead, and Quentin Westberg made six saves, his second highest total of the season, to hold on for the win.
After Altidore's deft opener from a Tsubasa Endoh delivery, Kemar Lawrence was whistled for a needless slide tackle on Toronto right back Richie Laryea that allowed Alejandro Pozuelo to convert from the penalty spot and take a 2-0 lead in the first 30 minutes.
The Red Bulls made it a 2-1 game in the second half when Derrick Etienne's footwork and low cross found Tom Barlow from close range, but a moment of confusion at the back, with Michael Amir Murillo trying to shield a ball out, allowed Ashtone Morgan – called on after Pozuelo left with a calf injury – to score just his second career MLS goal into an almost empty net.
- 6' – TOR – Jozy Altidore | WATCH
- 26' – TOR – Alejandro Pozuelo (PK) | WATCH
- 63' – NY – Tom Barlow | WATCH
- 72' – TOR – Ashtone Morgan | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Toronto FC hope this marks the turn of a corner, starting a three-game homestand with a multiple-goal win, but should have concerns about the number of chances allowed by the new center-back partnership of Laurent Ciman and Omar Gonzalez. New York, resting Sean Davis, Danny Royer and Brian White, actually spent most of the game outplaying Toronto FC, but they also spent all but those first six minutes trailing. Failing to take advantage of their chances tonight could come back to haunt them.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Toronto had already taken a 2-0 lead, but New York were still controlling large portions of the first half when Kaku picked Michael Bradley's pocket in his own penalty area in the 32nd minute. With the Red Bulls playmaker bearing down on goal, Westberg came out quickly and reacted to his right to knock away a golden scoring chance and maintain the two-goal margin.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Westberg. The first half could have been a completely different story, but his six saves (he was credited with five), three of them critical, kept Toronto comfortably in control on the scoreboard.