The Latin American connection of New York City gave its best scoring version with the Paraguayan Jesús Medina and the Argentinians Valentín Castellanos and Maximiliano Moralez to beat Toronto FC 3-1 tonight in the round of 16 of the Returning Tournament of the Professional Soccer League (MLS) of the United States.
The victory of New York City, turned into a great surprise, will allow the Big Apple team to play the quarterfinals on August 1 against the winner of the round of 16 game that the Portland Timbers will play on Tuesday against FC Cincinnati.
New York City, which ranked last in the round of 16 thanks to the Los Angeles Galaxy’s draw in injury time against the Houston Dynamo, did their best football so far in the tournament and under the direction of their new coach, Norwegian Ronny Deila.
This time New York City’s offensive game was a perfect machine led by Medina, tireless in midfield, just like Moralez, with Castellanos up, always ready to shoot on goal.
The one that arrived just when they were five minutes into the action and it was Medina who after receiving a pass from the Swedish defender Anton Tinnerholm, who previously took the ball after the free kick taken by the Costa Rican defender Ronald Matarrita, finished off by low, with the left leg, inside the area and beat the French goalkeeper Quentin Westberg, of Toronto FC.
The goal not only gave New York City the advantage, but also the confidence in their group game that they had not had in the group stage and, above all, showed great effectiveness with their counterattack football, the weapon that gave them would give the great triumph.
Although New York City had several clear scoring opportunities to have increased the advantage on the scoreboard, such as that of Peruvian defender Alexander Callens in the 17th minute, which Westberg saved his great shot, both teams went into the break with 1-0 and the party without deciding.
Something that began to happen at minute 55 when again in another move studied by New York City, this time it would be Castellanos who made it 2-0 after receiving a long ball from the left side of Moralez and the young Argentine striker, He controlled it, went to the center of the area, after freeing himself from his marker and with his right leg he took an unstoppable mid-height shot.
That was the end of the game for Toronto FC, who played without his goal scorer, young Ayo Akinola, so that Spanish midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo was left without his best point of reference in the attack.
While New York City played a great defense and safely protected goalkeeper Sean Johnson, always safe in the actions he had to intervene.
With everything in favor of New York City, although Toronto was looking for the reaction with Pozuelo as leader and they had more possession of the ball, again a counterattack action, now through Moralez, came 3-0 when the 81st minute was up .
New York City’s great victory was assured and although Toronto scored the honor goal in the 87th minute through Patrick Mullins, it was too late.
New York City could still have scored 4-1 if the pumped shot from Brazilian striker Héber, who made a great counterattack play after receiving the ball from Uruguayan Nicolás Acevedo, had not crashed into the crossbar when Westberg was already beaten.