Brawl breaks out after NYCFC win over Toronto

TORONTO — Rookie Malachi Jones and Andrés Perea scored second-half goals and Matt Freese made nine saves as New York City FC held on for a 3-2 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday night.

Santiago Rodríguez staked New York City (5-5-2) to a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick in the 25th minute. Rodríguez scored for a fourth time this season – sending a right-footed shot to the bottom right corner of the net following a hand-ball foul on Toronto midfielder Matty Longstaff.

NYCFC took a 2-0 lead into halftime on Jones’ first career goal. Fellow rookie Hannes Wolf picked up an assist when Jones – a 20-year-old forward – scored in the 44th minute.

Toronto (6-5-1) pulled within a score early in the second half on an unassisted goal by Federico Bernardeschi in the 55th minute. Bernardeschi scored his first two goals of the season last week in a 3-1 victory over FC Dallas.

NYCFC regained a two-goal lead in the 78th minute on Perea’s first score of the season. Wolf and rookie Agustín Ojeda notched assists. Ojeda’s helper was the first of his career and Wolf’s was his third in his first season.

Toronto again pulled within a goal when defender Raoul Petretta found the net for the first time in his career – in the 89th minute – with an assist from Longstaff.

Bernardeschi was tagged with a red card two minutes after Petretta’s goal, forcing Toronto to play a man down through stoppage time.

Freese finished one save shy of matching his career high.

Sean Johnson turned away one shot for Toronto.

Toronto saw a three-match win streak come to an end under first-year manager John Herdman. Toronto has gone from the worst team in the league last season to third place in the Eastern Conference at the beginning of the day. The club already has 19 points this season after finishing the 2023 campaign with 22.

Lorenzo Insigne saw his first action for Toronto since March 23. Insigne, who had not played since he suffered a thigh injury in a 2-0 win over Atlanta United, subbed in for Derrick Etienne Jr. in the 76th minute and missed his only shot.

NYCFC beat Toronto 2-1 at home earlier this season, earning the first victory for first-year manager Nick Cushing by handing Toronto its first loss.

NYCFC leads the all-time series 11-9-7. NYCFC has won the last four in the matchup by a combined 13-3 score.

New York City stays on the road to play the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday. Toronto travels to play Nashville SC on Wednesday.


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