Giovinco rallies Toronto to draw at NYCFC



New York City FC had Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco contained for 75 minutes of Sunday’s encounter.

Unfortunately for them, that was not good enough.

Giovinco galloped to the NYCFC third late in Sunday’s encounter, freezing defender Frédéric Brillant and taking a shot to the bottom right corner to level the score at two, spoiling NYCFC’s home opener in front of 30,315 fans.

After Villa scored the first two goals, Giovinco started Toronto’s comeback in first half stoppage time with a free kick from right wing into the six-yard box that Damien Perquis was able to redirect passed Josh Saunders. The goal just before halftime took the shine off of what had been an excellent half from New York City and began a frustrating reversal for New York City head coach Patrick Vieira in the second.

“When you are winning 2–nil and you draw 2–2, there is a lot of frustration from our side,” Vieira said in his post match press conference. “When we led 2–nil, we had to control the game better.

“You have to give Toronto credit for the way they played [but] I think as a team, we will get better.”

Vieira added that NYCFC played better than it did in its season-opening win against the Chicago Fire. They held 58 percent of the possession in the first half and completed 268 passes. In addition to being able to control the play, Vieira’s decision to field a 3-4-3 with two defensive midfielders denied Giovinco space to create chances.

Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney said NYCFC’s formation caught him by surprise.

“They overloaded the middle of the field against us,” Vanney said. “In the midfield, against our three, they had four. They had [Andrea] Pirlo and [Federico] Bravo sitting deep and it was a matter of how we were going to be able to reorganize and put pressure on those players. We had to close the middle up where we had deficiencies and be able force the ball to certain areas of the field and close things off.”

Vanney said he brought his wingers inside to support Giovinco in the second half. He also substituted winger Tsubasa Endoh for midfielder Benoit Cheyrou and played more of a 4-3-2-1 which swung the midfield numbers back in Toronto’s favor.

Villa’s first half brace came somewhat fortuitously. After midfielder Thomas McNamara was tripped inside the penalty box, Villa opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a placed penalty into the bottom left corner. His second goal four minutes later was protested by Toronto defenders who claimed Villa handled the ball before firing a snap shot passed Toronto goalkeeper Clint Irwin.

Villa said the ball hit his arm — but only because someone pushed him.

“I was fighting with the defender and the defender touched me,” Villa said. “He touched me and I touched the ball. At the moment when I wanted to touch the ball, I wanted to control it with my chest and the defender pushed me and I hit the ball involuntarily.”

Villa said he was disappointed that NYCFC lost its lead but remained optimistic about the team’s performance through two games.

New York City has four points through those games and will host Orlando City SC at 7 pm next Friday in Yankee Stadium.

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  • Tom

    1st year MLS fan here. Such an exciting game but a disappointing end. I’m glad Modells were giving away 2 free tickets with the purchase of the away jersey. Number 7 is my new favorite player. Let’s go NYC FC!!

    • The Don

      Glad you made it! You’re the kind of undiscriminating fan we want.

      I did all I could to get your team a win; an undeserved penalty kick and a blind eye turned to Villa’s “arm goan” but alas NYCFC is terrible and still couldn’t win. Come back next week. We’ll find a new way to gift them a win!

      • Schmuck

        You’re a schmuck. I love RBNY, but please **** off

        • The Don

          I love RBNY too!

          Look at all the synergy they bring to MLS, not to mention global branding!

          Have so ever noticed that Marc DeGrandre and I have the same fahion sense? We’ve got the dark blazer, crisp white shirt and blue jeans look down pat when we’re going casual and the power ties when we’re going corporate. No obe rocks 2006 like we do!


          • Nick Chavez, International Man of Mystery

            I’m glad you brought up synergies, Don. That is what City Football Group brings to the table as well. The problem with most American soccer fans, particularly NASL fans, is that they don’t understand the importance of branding and global positioning. I do, of course, as I have been a Madridista for fourteen years. CFG is taking the game to a new level with multiple alternate jerseys and photo spreads in New York magazine. Theirs is a global reach with appeals to fascinating people like myself.

            You know, I don’t often watch MLS, but, when I do, its NYCFC.

            Stay global, my friends.

            • Anthony

              Give me a break, just because you settled for being an off shoot brand for City Football Group ( a farm team just like the other city teams) don’t try and sell us on your mistake. NYCFC is and forever will be just another City Group farm club to funnel talent to the only City team that matters.

              • slowleftarm

                And still miles better than Hempstead Cosmos.

                • Larry A. Simpleton

                  But when are they better as the Cosmos always win ?

          • Terry

            RB’s u mean the Harrison Metrostars ?

  • Rebel Fighter

    A disappointing result for the droid team and droid fans.

    • Larry A. Simpleton

      NYCFC and RB’s should be regulated to High School soccer. Really pathetic

  • Hank the tank

    Pirlo is so lost. He clearly retired the day before he joined NYCFC.
    Dude can’t play anymore.

  • Anthony

    Clearly, whomever named Brilliant was a world class troll. That guy sucks

  • Schmuck

    I’d like this site so much more if the comment sections were about soccer.

    Any chance you guys would consider moving to a system where you have to create an account to comment and then block the trolls from commenting.