Coach Ronny Deila brought Anton Tinnerholm, Jesus Medina and Taty Castellanos into his lineup following the goalless draw at New England last time out as the Boys in Blue sought to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches.
Facing off against a familiar foe in TFC, City knew they could move to within two points of their opponents with all three points and they started out with the bit between the collective teeth, turning in a dominant first half display.
Although their efforts would go unrewarded in terms of goals in the first 45’, it was all NYCFC in the first half with 10 shots and five on target vs. Toronto’s three shots and one on target.
Everything right up until the finish was perfect from NYC, with the first opportunity falling for Taty Castellanos with a header which was well turned over the bar by Alex Bono.
Bono’s night continued to be busy, with the ‘keeper required to make stops from Medina, Alex Callens and Alex Ring in the first half as Deila’s side pounded at the door.
The second 45’ kicked off much like the first with NYCFC in the ascendancy and they were unfortunate not to take the lead again on 51’ when more excellent work from Gary Mackay-Steven led to a cross which was inches away from connecting with Castellanos for the opener, but once again Bono was there to turn the ball away from danger as the last line of defense.
On 57’, Héber was introduced from the substitute bench to replace Taty who was carrying a booking and the Brazilian striker worked the goalkeeper soon after coming on with a fierce strike that was once again blocked by the visiting GK.
Deila made a triple change on 70’ sending on Ronald Matarrita, Alexandru Mitriță and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi to go out for a deserved win, but the match turned on the injury to Héber on 84’ when he went down on the edge of the area after appearing to twist his knee.
After a lengthy stoppage, Nicolas Acevedo replaced him and it was the Uruguayan who was adjudged to have handled in the box, giving Pozuelo the opportunity to defeat NYCFC with a last-minute penalty, just as he did in the 2019 Playoffs.
Pozuelo sent the ball into the corner, meaning it was a brutal end to City’s six-match unbeaten streak.
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