After the first NYCFC goal, it seemed inevitable that Toronto would come back. New York City were pressing well, and even if they were struggling with putting shots on goal as they have throughout the MLS is Back tournament, they were hassling and preventing Toronto from creating any real chances. Yet, there remained the foreboding feeling that Toronto would eventually figure things out and dominate NYCFC as they have many times in the past. Another painful memory for NYCFC to add to the playoff defeat to the same opponents last year and a 7-0 aggregate loss in the 2016 postseason.
Then in the 55th minute, Maxi Moralez showed his class to allay the fears that this would be the same old NYCFC against Toronto. The second goal was scored by Valentin Castellanos, but it is one of those goals where the quality of the assist supersedes and will be more memorable than the goal itself.
As the ball bounced in front of him in the attacking third as he was facing and running to his right, and with several defenders converging in on him, Moralez somehow managed to see Castellanos peeling away from the crowd to the left. Then in a wonderful moment, he lofted a reverse ball over the defenders to the running Castellanos, who had no defender near him. It took a bit of work from the forward to score, as he had to settle and then cut inside of a recovering defender, but Moralez's ability and audaciousness in making that pass was another example of what makes him so special and a testament to the power of playmakers to do the rarest thing in soccer: create chances from unreasonable situations.
Once Castellanos scored, it became clear that something different was taking place between the two teams. Even as Toronto brought in Jozy Altidore and other substitutes to try and wrestle control away from their opponents, NYCFC remained comfortable as Toronto grew more desperate. Toronto put New York City under immense pressure, yet Ronny Deila's team were able to defend well and find opportunities against the compromised Toronto defense.
NYCFC's patience paid off again in the 80th minute. A low cross from the left found Heber in the box, and with a devious flick, he took out his immediate defender to find Moralez arriving at the top of the box alone and with all the time in the world to measure the keeper before slotting the ball home. The goal was praiseworthy because of the build-up, the assist by Heber, and the composure from Moralez, who rightly capped off his great performance with a goal, but it came as a consequence of New York simply out playing and frustrating Toronto. Moralez had so much time and space in front of goal because Toronto committed everyone forward. But instead of creating chances, they were suffocated and then punished by a team that they usually have no problem with.
It was odd to see Heber hit the bar with two chances after Toronto's consolation goal, and have him and his teammates laugh those missed opportunities off. In a normal world, the world before the tournament, New York would have been chasing the game and regretting those missed opportunities. But nothing is normal anymore.
It's fair to ask how much this tournament, with all of the strangeness and unusual structure of it, is an accurate barometer of each team's development. After all, Altidore, Toronto's star striker, was suffering from a lack of match fitness and came off the bench because he had to self-quarantine after leaving Toronto during lockdown to be with his family in Florida. It's legitimately difficult to gather too much information and analysis from any team in such a sped-up environment with a lack of collective fitness and chemistry. NYCFC might have won now, but is the win and performance more of a product of the chaos of the external circumstances rather than proof that they can legitimately beat Toronto?
The question and skepticism is understandable, but there are reasons why this win matters greatly. Not only because New York City advances, but because it's an event the team can take inspiration from going forward. They beat Toronto FC. They beat Toronto FC comfortably. For a team who have been thwarted by Toronto several times over the years, it's a monumental achievement. For New York City and new head coach Deila, this can be the start, the foundation, from which they build their new identity. Where they can shed the idea of being a regular-season team that fails to deliver when it comes to the pressure of knockout soccer in the playoffs.
Altre notizie - News
- 18:22 Ineffective attack and soft defense: a lot of work for Ronny Deila to do
- 15:04 Mackay-Stevens: It's disappointing to lose in this way
- 08:46 Ronny Deila: We have improved, too bad we were eliminated
- 08:39 NYCFC vs Portland Timbers 1-3: Blues eliminated
- 23:30 New York City FC vs Portland Timbers: the probable Starting XI
- 23:00 NYCF vs Portland Timbers - Watch The Show!
- 22:30 Deila: "Maxi has a calf pain that we have to verify"
- 22:00 NYCFC vs Portland Timbers - Ronny Deila Press Conference
- 21:40 NYCFC vs Portland Timbers: Tajouri-Shradi and Gedion Zelalem unavailable
- 22:35 Former New York City FC Domenec Torrent will coach the Flamengo team
- 08:05 New York City FC Face Portland Timbers in MLS is Back Quarterfinals
- 14:00 Match Recap | Toronto FC 1-3 NYCFC
- 13:00 It's finally Ronny Deila's New York City FC!
- 10:00 Toronto FC 1-3 NYCFC - Press Conference Of Ronny Deila
- 09:00 WATCH: NYCFC 3 -TORONTO FC 1: the highlights
- 08:10 NYCFC vs TORONTO FC, Deila: The Boys Really Wanted To Win
- 08:09 NYCFC pass huge Toronto FC hurdle as Maxi Moralez shows his class
- 23:40 New York City in full force: there are no injured players
- 23:23 Toronto FC vs. NYCFC - Press Conference of Ronny Deila
- 23:22 Toronto FC vs. NYCFC - Mackay-Steven Preview
- 23:16 NYCFC, emotion, luck and discipline to win
- 23:13 Toronto FC vs. NYCFC - Tinnerholm Preview
- 14:00 Tinnerholm on the team spirit: We Had a Great Speech And...
- 13:00 Toronto, Bradley launches challenge to NYCFC: "We Know Them Well"
- 12:03 Tinnerholm: We want revenge on Toronto
- 22:00 NYCFC picks up fits win, eliminates Inter Miami from tournament
- 21:00 Inter Miami 0-1 NYCFC - Tajouri-Shradi & Parks Reaction
- 20:56 Inter Miami CF 0, New York City FC 1 | MLS is Back Tournament Match Recap
- 11:00 New York City FC looking to put early-season doldrums behind them against Inter Miami CF
- 10:00 Inter Miami vs. NYCFC - Press Conference of Ronny Deila
- 09:00 Inter Miami vs. NYCFC - Ring Preview
- 08:07 Injury Report | Maxi Rated as Doubtful for Miami
- 14:00 Maxi Moralez hopes to recover against Inter Miami
- 13:00 NYCFC, first game ever against the Inter Miami of Bean Sweat
- 00:01 NYCFC, a game that is worth the whole season
- 23:45 NYCFC, there is hope that Maxi could recover
- 23:27 Former New York City FC standout Jack Harrison, Leeds United earn promotion to English Premier League
- 16:00 NYCFC, a mountain to climb
- 15:00 Alexander Ring, 100 in NYCFC
- 14:00 New York City FC, Qualification Hopes
- 13:00 Finally good news for NYCFC: Maxi Moralez can return against Inter Miami
- 16:00 VIDEO - The perfect Half-Volley of Jesus Medina
- 15:00 NYCFC 1-3 Orlando City - Press Conference of Ronny Deila
- 14:00 NYCFC 1-3 Orlando City - Medina Reaction
- 13:00 NYCFC 1-3 Orlando City, Sean Johnson Reaction
- 08:00 Match Recap - NYCFC 1-3 Orlando City
- 15:00 Tinnerholm: The next game will be crucial for us
- 14:00 New York City FC Academy Director Liam Manning to Become Head Coach of Lommel SK