October 30, 2016 MLS Eastern Conference Semifinal Round--Toronto FC vs New York City FC (by Rocket Robin)

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Toronto FC (all red, white names and numbers)

.................1 Clint Irwin
...........15 Eriq Zavelata...3 Drew Moor...6 Nick Hagglund
33 Steven Beitashour...31 Armando Cooper...4 Michael Bradley (cpt)...21 Jonathan Osorio...2 Justin Morrow
..........17 Jozy Altidore...10 Sebastian Giovinco

Subs:...25 Alex Bono (gk)...7 Will Johnson (mid)...8 Benoit Cheyrou (mid)...18 Marky Delgado (mid)
...23 Josh Williams (def)...28 Mark Bloom (def)...87 Tosaint Ricketts (fwd)
team officials:...head coach Greg Vanney

New York City FC (all navy, orange names and numbers)

......................25 Eirik Johansen
27 R J Allen...13 Frederic Brillant...4 Maxime Chanot...22 Ronald Matarrita
........6 Federico Bravo...51 Andoni Iraola...5 Mikey Lopez
............11 Jack Harrison...7 David Villa (cpt)...9 Steven Mendoza

Subs:...12 Josh Saunders (gk)...2 Jason Hernandez (def)...8 Frank Lampard (mid)...15 Thomas McNamara (mid)
...19 Khiry Shelton (fwd)...30 Diego Martinez (def)...99 Tony Taylor (fwd)
team officials:...head coach Patrick Vieira

Game officials:...referee Silviu Petrescu...referee's assistants Daniel Belleau and Mike Rottersman
...fourth official Jose Carlos Rivero...(yellow shirts, black shorts and socks)

1st Half:...game starts 7:09pm...TFC defends south end on this cool overcast evening.
30 sec...NYC Lopez is hurt in collision with TFC Beitashour as both jumped for header at NYC 40 yard line.
2 min...NYC Mendoza high cross from 28 yards near left end line has goalie palm ball over net.
3 min...NYC Villa cornerkick from right has TFC Hagglund leap to head ball away at 7 yards in center of box. NYC Allen gets to bounced clearance and heads wide left from 22 yards up middle is wide left of net.
5 min...TFC Giovinco wins freekick on knockdown by NYC Chanot near right sideline near 22 yard line.
6 min...TFC Giovinco 28 yard freekick from right is low and charging TFC Hagglund kicks 12 yarder down middle well over net.
8 min...NYC Harrison low 30 yard shot up middle is picked up by goalie.
11 min...Charging TFC Giovinco is tapped pass by TFC Altidore at 30 yards and charges down middle and 8 yard low shot on left is stopped point blank by goalie at 5 yards.
14 min...TFC Bradley freekick from 45 yards on left downfield and bounces over end line too far for charging TFC Giovinco.
15 min...TFC Bradley 35 yard freekick from right is over players in box and TFC Giovinco can't control on left side of box and rolls ball to goalie on deflection of 15 yard shot near left end line. NYC Allen is injured on play.
16 min...TFC Osorio taps ball on run to TFC Giovinco who bounces low 22 yard shot from left to goalie.
17 min...TFC Beitashour rolls cross from 25 yards on far right and NYC Iraola between crowd of players clears from 12 yards in center of box..
19 min...NYC Villa low 25 yard shot from left is between players and smothered by goalie near left post.
20 min...There's a player dust up at the TFC 35 yard line. TFC Cooper is injured at the beginning with NYC Villa kicking out at him before the pushing match. Cooper needs the trainer.
22 min...NYC Villa pass back to NYC Matarrita whose shot from 30 yards on left is just wide left of post.
22 min...TFC YELLOW card...Cooper earns it for pushing down NYC Villa at TFC 40 yard line.
23 min...NYC Matarrita 45 yard freekick down middle is over players heads on left and out for goalkick.
24 min...TFC Giovinco wins cornerkick by NYC Chanot clearing away ball on his rush to 25 yards on left.
24 min...TFC Giovinco cornerkick from left has TFC Hagglund at 6 yards head ball away from goal. TFC Bradley pops header from 15 yards in middle forward and left and NYC Allen at 6 yards heads ball over end line for another cornerkick.
25 min...TFC Giovinco cornerkick from left has goalie run forward to bat away at 6 yards and wins freekick when he's bumped into in back by TFC Zavaleta in crowd of players in box.
26 min...TFC Bradley 55 yard freekick from right is cleared by defender's header at 22 yards on left.
28 min...TFC Giovinco cross from 28 yards on right has NYC Allen chest ball at 8 yards on left back towards goalie but tips off head of TFC Morrow at 6 yards and another defender boots ball away on mid-air kick on edge of 6 yards box.
29 min...NYC Mendoza rush on 1 on 6 down middle and low 25 yard shot is wide left on deflection off TFC Zavelata's shin at 20 yards but goalkick is given.
31 min...NYC YELLOW card...Harrison earns it for pulling down TFC Bradley at TFC 30 yard line on right after Bradley had checked him off ball on right edge of TFC box.
34 min...NYC Mendoza injured by TFC Zavaleta while jumping for header at TFC 50 yard line and wins freekick.
35 min...NYC Matarrita freekick from 55 yards on left is partially cleared by TFC Hagglund heading away on edge of box. NYC Allen low 28 yard shot from right is through crowd of players wide right.
39 min...TFC Bradley quick freekick from 40 yards on right is cleared by NYC Villa near top right side of box.
40 min...TFC Giovinco 35 yard freekick from slight left has goalie sprawl to save on right side near post and defender heads away at 15 yards on right.
41 min...TFC Bradley 30 yard freekick on right has nearest player NYC Villa head away at 12 yards on right side of box.
42 min...NYC Villa is checked off ball on edge of TFC box when swarmed by three defenders.
43 min...NYC YELLOW card...Chanot earns it for holding back TFC Altidore after deflection off referee breaks up NYC play at TFC 25 yard line.
45 min...NYC Allen cross from 30 yards on right bounces to goalie.
46 min...NYC defenders break up TFC play on edge of own box after TFC Moor's punt from 60 yards on left and TFC Altidore header from 25 yards.
46 min...half ends 8:10pm.

Halftime Entertainment: There's Tony the Pizza Pizza guy. The lucky row is only 17 rows behind us and in our section. DJ Skratch Bastid was back again to entertain us with music. He had played his turntables before the game as well. The halftime was no longer than usual. Only the TFC subs stay out to practice at halftime in the cold weather. There's a t-shirt throw from the sidelines into the crowd.

2nd Half:...starts 8:26pm.
46 min...TFC Altidore intercepts clearance attempt that NYC Matarrita can't control in middle of field over to right and rolls 22 yard shot wide left of post.
47 min...NYC Mendoza get away near left cornerflag and cross into box has NYC Harrison at 10 yards on left flick header across box and NYC Allen blasts low 15 yard shot up middle just wide left of post.
49 min...TFC Bradley freekick from 40 yards on right has nearest defender just inside box in front of crowd of players kick ball away.
50 min...TFC Giovinco cross from 25 yards on right has leaping defender head ball across box at 7 yards while even with right post and over to TFC Morrow's foot at 5 yards back across box and defender heads ball down that deflects off arm of TFC Altidore who rolls ball across again to Morrow who kicks in 5 yarder. NYC are awarded freekick.
51 min...TFC Cooper 20 yard shot deflects off sliding NYC Lopez for cornerkick.
52 min...TFC Bradley cornerkick from right has leaping TFC Zavaleta not quite able to turn header from 7 yards in middle and ball flies over to left where flying TFC Moor tries to head in from 2 yards on left post but NYC Brillan gets foot in to clear ball connecting with Moor's face. Moor gets header away off top of bar and out for goalkick. Moore needs trainer for injury.
53 min...TFC players don't get away shot on edge of NYC box.
53 min...TFC Cooper rolls pass forward up middle from 35 yards and TFC Giovinco turns and shoots 23 yarder up middle that lands on top of net.
54 min...TFC Bradley bends 28 yard cross from left wide right for goalkick.
57 min...NYC YELLOW card...Lopez earns it for tackle on TFC Beitashour at TFC 40 yard line.
58 min...NYC Harrison cross from 28 yards on far right is cleared by TFC Moor on edge of 6 yard box.
60 min...NYC sub...Lampard replaces injured Lopez after trainer needed to come to field.
61 min...TFC Morrow cross from 30 yards on far left is into box and TFC Altidore falls at 6 yards trying for header with NYC Chanot pulling on him. TFC Beitashour rolls cross from 12 yards on right across box and TFC Osorio fires 8 yard shot down middle over bar.
62 min...TFC Cooper low cross from 22 yards on right has ball deflect off sliding defender and NYC Lampard clears from 10 yards on right.
62 min...TFC Bradley chips pass from 35 yards on right that finds leaping TFC Altidore at 18 yards on left who heads it down but NYC Iraola clears away.
63 min...NYC Villa cornerkick from left has NYC player head ball across box from 10 yards on right but defenders clear in crowd of players.
64 min...NYC YELLOW card...Bravo earns it for delaying TFC Giovinco's quick freekick attempt at NYC 45 yard line.
64 min...TFC Bradley chips 50 yard freekick down middle and TFC Altidore pops up header at 15 yards on right and defender on left side of box at 15 yards heads it away.
66 min...TFC Giovinco bends 25 yard freekick from left is high over top left corner of net.
69 min...TFC Giovinco low 30 yard shot from right deflects off NYC Chanot at 25 yards and rolls to goalie.
70 min...TFC Cooper dekes two guys on run up middle from 30 yards and ball deflects off player and NYC Brillant at 8 yards on left slides to clear ball away.
71 min...TFC Altidore rush to edge of NYC box and rolls pass forward from right and TFC Giovinco at 8 yards on right rolls ball across box and retreating NYC Harrison gets foot to at 8 yards while even with left post preventing TFC Osorio shot and pokes ball towards net and NYC Chanot is able to clear ball at 5 yards on midair kick.
72 min...NYC YELLOW card...Lampard earns it for tripping up TFC Altidore at NYC 30 yard line.
73 min...TFC Bradley 35 yard freekick is over head of players and one bounces to goalie.
74 min...TFC Giovinco 22 yard freekick from left is high over net.
77 min...NYC sub...Shelton replaces Villa.
77 min...NYC Shelton charges forward to flick 22 yard header up middle that bounces to TFC goalie.
80 min...NYC Harrison long run down middle and taps to NYC Shelton who sends low cross from 20 yards on right into 6 yard box and goalie sprawls and tips ball forward and off NYC Harrison at 6 yards and TFC Zavaleta clears from left post for throw-in.
80 min...NYC Allen blasts 18 yard shot from right that goalie at 4 yards palms over net.
81 min...NYC Lampard cornerkick from left has TFC Hagglund pop up header and goalie punches away. NYC Allen low cross from 20 yards on right wins cornerkick on deflection off defender.
81 min...NYC Lampard cornerkick from right has TFC Altidore head away at 7 yards on right post.
82 min...TFC sub...Ricketts replaces Osorio.
83 min...TFC Jozy Altidore GOAL...TFC Michael Bradley freekick from NYC 48 yard line down middle has retreating NYC defender in crowd of players head ball down at 8 yards in middle and TFC Sebastian Giovinco at 15 yards on left rolls ball across box between players and NYC Frederico Bravo clearance attempt from 8 yards is off NYC Andoni Iraola and deflects back to 6 yards where TFC Tosaint Ricketts whiffs on attempt up middle and he gets foot in to beat two defenders and goalie to hook ball over to Altidore at 8 yards even with right post who blasts shot into top right side of net.
84 min...NYC Shelton can't keep ball from rolling over TFC end line after eluding TFC goalie at 8 yards on right.
85 min...TFC sub...Johnson replaces Cooper.
.........NYC sub...Taylor replaces Mendoza.
86 min...NYC Allen 55 yard freekick from right has TFC Altidore head away on left side of box in crowd of players. NYC Allen chips back in from 55 yards on right and NYC player heads 22 yarder down middle over crowd of players and goalie runs forward to catch on bounce.
87 min...TFC sub...Delgado replaces Giovinco.
91 min...TFC Tosaint Ricketts GOAL...Ricketts strips NYC Ronald Matarrita of ball on right sideline and rolls cross from 25 yards near end line. TFC Marky Delgado stops it at 22 yards on right and rolls it across box for TFC Will Johnson who is tied up with two defenders. Johnson taps pass back to Delgado who chips cross over to left for TFC Nick Hagglund who chips ball from 25 yards on left. It's over the head of leaping TFC Marky Delgado at 8 yards in middle. Ricketts slides at 5 yards and gets foot to that goalie Eirik Johanson sprawls to save at 1 yard line. The ball rebounds back to Ricketts sitting down and he flicks shot while prone at 3 yards over prone goalie into center of net.
92 min...NYC Matarrita 28 yard shot from left is well wide right of goal.
94 min...game ends 9:15pm. TFC Ricketts and other players are then involved in a pushing match.

Final Score:.......Toronto FC.........2..........New York City FC............0.............

Attendance was announced as 28220 which was about 6000 better than Wednesday night. Although it was short notice (game Saturday or Sunday? afternoon or night?) because it was a weekend at all naturally made it that more people could attend without work commitments.

The rematch in New York is next Sunday but once again the league doesn't announce the exact time, maybe waiting to see what games will grab the best TV ratings. I didn't know this would be such a late start until after I printed my ticket as 'Time TBD' only three days before the game! Oh well, next week I expect to be home all day on Sunday.

This was TFC's first win over NYCFC in six tries. This season's regular season meetings were both ties--2-2 in New York and 1-1 in Toronto. Since NYCFC earned a bye mid-week, this was their first playoff game in the franchise's two year history.

This was a rare time where TFC's big three (designated players) all played together this season.

The NYCFC big three were supposed to play together but only David Villa started, Frank Lampard came in at 60 minutes and Andrea Pirlo was not even on the bench. [explanation on TV broadcast: Pirlo was out with a calf injury.]

I didn't hear a 'Man of the Match' announced but the TV broadcast picked Michael Bradley.

TFC Giovinco had freekicks near the goal but his shots were off target today and right out of play not allowing for TFC players to knock the ball around in the box on any rebound.

Scoring that second goal was huge for TFC as it is a two game, total goal series and now any TFC away goals scored next Sunday will count as double if both teams are tied with the same number of goals. TFC can lose 1-0, 3-1, 4-2 and still win on aggreagate.

Tosaint Ricketts scored on a good second effort while on his back. TFC had subbed off Sebastian Giovinco at 87 minutes presumably to hold onto their 1-0 lead although Marky Delgado is a midfielder.

TFC dominated this game I felt in possession and shots. NYCFC were holding on for large stretches of the second half and earning Yellow cards for holding and tripping.

Most of NYCFC runs were odds such as 2v6 or 1v3.

Jozy Altidore was used as a target man to hold up pass play, distributing them with a flicked header or a quick foot deflection to set up a charging TFC player expecially Giovinco or Osorio.

More NYCFC players were down with injuries than TFC players in a game that got rough in places with two major incidents of pushing matches breaking out.

Clint Irwin earned the shutout for TFC without having much to do except two key saves at 80 minutes. Allowing no goals at home is almost as important as scoring yourself when playinkg at home in this two game series.

The late start meant the temperatures got colder expecially after it got dark.

We were once again given large cardboard cards to hold up "Toronto 'til I Die" but this time, in my section, it had a Red background and some other sections this time had white backgrounds.

This did mark the third game in eight days for TFC although they were all home games. They beat Chicago 3-2 last Sunday in their last game of the regular season. They then won 3-1 on Wednesday night to beat Philadelphia in the one game knockout round.

Struggling to get to these three games was tough for me with the death of my father occuring on Tuesday morning.

The subway was partially closed this weekend but not in a section that I use. For the first time this season it took less than two hours to get home.

Rocket Robin

stats from MLSsoccer.com
Match Information

Goals and Assists
84'    TOR  Jozy Altidore 
90'+2' TOR  Tosaint Ricketts 

23'    TOR  Armando Cooper            Reason: Unsporting Behavior 
33'    NYC  Jack Harrison             Reason: Unsporting Behavior 
44'    NYC  Maxime Chanot             Reason: Unsporting Behavior 
58'    NYC  Mikey Lopez               Reason: Unsporting Behavior 
65'    NYC  Federico Bravo            Reason: Delaying the restart of play 
73'    NYC  Frank Lampard             Reason: Unsporting Behavior 


Toronto FC 
17 F Jozy Altidore 
10 F Sebastian Giovinco  (88') 
 1 G Clint Irwin 
15 D Eriq Zavaleta 
 3 D Drew Moor 
 6 D Nick Hagglund 
33 M Steven Beitashour 
31 M Armando Cooper     (86')
 4 M Michael Bradley 
21 M Jonathan Osorio    (83')
 2 M Justin Morrow 

25 G Alex Bono 
23 D Josh Williams 
28 D Mark Bloom 
 8 M Benoit Cheyrou 
 7 M Will Johnson        (86')
87 M Tosaint Ricketts    (83')
18 F Marco Delgado       (88')

Manager  Greg Vanney  

New York City FC 
11 F Jack Harrison 
 7 F David Villa         (78')
 9 F Steven Mendoza      (86')
25 G Eirik Johansen 
13 D Frederic Brillant 
51 D Andoni Iraola 
 4 D Maxime Chanot 
27 M RJ Allen 
 6 M Federico Bravo 
 5 M Mikey Lopez         (61')
22 M Ronald Matarrita 

12 G Josh Saunders 
 2 D Jason Hernandez 
30 D Diego Martínez 
 8 M Frank Lampard       (61')
15 M Thomas McNamara 
99 F Tony Taylor         (86') 
19 F Khiry Shelton       (78')

Manager Patrick Vieira 

Referee  Silviu Petrescu 
Assistant Referee  Daniel Belleau 
Assistant Referee  Mike Rottersman 
Fourth Official  Jose Carlos Rivero 

Match Information
MLS Playoffs at Semifinals - Leg 1
Attendance 28220
Weather Cloudy

Team Statistics

TOR                       NYC 
 16     Shots               9 
  6     Shots on Target     3 
  8     Shots off Target    5 
  2     Blocked Shots       1 
  3     Corners             4 
 11     Crosses            11 
  1     Offsides            2 
 12     Fouls              19 
  1     Yellow Cards        5 
  0     Red Cards           0 
331     Total Passes      353 
 69 %   Passing Accuracy   69 % 
 48.3 % Possession         51.7 % 
 75     Duels Won          35 
 20     Tackles Won        10 
  3     Saves               4 
 14     Clearances         20 

Toronto FC starters (too many onfield balloons, flags and banners that it was hard to see the
players lined up for the national anthems)

New York City FC starters

TFC Armando Cooper (31) and Sebastian Giovinco (10) take opening kickoff.

TFC Michael Bradley (4) takes freekick.

TFC Jozy Altidore (17) keeps ball away from NYCFC Mikey Lopez (5).

NYCFC Ronald Matarrita (22) dribbles ball down left wing.

NYCFC Steven Mendoza (9) ready to pass.

NYCFC David Villa (7) and Jack Harrison (11) take second half kickoff.

NYCFC David Villa (7) dribbles up right side.

TFC Sebastian Giovinco (10) takes freekick.

TFC Michael Bradley (4) pushes TFC Jozy Altidore (17) away from post match dust up.

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