NYCFC II returned to Belson Stadium on Sunday, defeating Toronto FC in the second meeting of the season. The Young Pigeons lost at Toronto 1-3 in the first matchup, but flipped the script at home, winning 4-1 on Mother’s Day.
NYCFC II: 14 shots, 7 shots on goal, 54.4 % possession, 458 passes, 81.4% passing accuracy
TFC II: 7 shots, 2 shots on goal, 45.6 % possession, 385 passes, 79.5% passing accuracy
NYCFC II went into Sunday coming off a disappointing 2-1 defeat to the Philadelphia Union II at Subaru Park. In that game, manager Matt Pilkington’s men dominated the Union all match, holding 61% of possession and outshooting the Union 21-9. However, two set piece goals and a lack of final third production resulted in the defeat.
New York built on their dominant performance and pinned Toronto back for much of the first half. In the 20th minute, a beautiful sequence between John Denis and Piero Elias led to a point-blank save that rebounded right to Jonathon Jimenez, who finished it off easily for the opener and his fourth goal of the season.
Toronto slowly started to build momentum, and in the 43rd minute, Nico Benalcazar fouled Toronto’s Richaun Walkes in the box. Alonso Coello converted the penalty leaving the scoreline 1-1 going into the break.
NYCFC dominated the second half. In the 68th minute, El Mehdi Youssoufi cut the ball back in the box and was steamrolled by TFC II’s Kundai Mawoko. John Denis slotted home the penalty to give NYCFC the lead 2-1. The penalty also marked his fourth goal of the season, tying him with Jimenez for the team lead.
In the 81st minute, Jack Beer found Piero Elias, who capped off his impressive performance with his first goal of the season. His left-footed shot deflected off the keeper before striking the crossbar and nestling into the net.
In stoppage time, Youssoufi capitalized on a heavy touch, ran through on goal, and slotted the ball through the keeper’s legs to secure the win.
NYCFC II’s attack has been lethal this season. Following this 4-1 win, New York City lead the league in goals (20), assists (14), key passes (70), and goals inside the box (70). Both Denis and Jimenez are tied for third in the Golden Boot race, Elias is in third for the assist leader with three assists, and Denis leads all of MLS Next Pro with 16 key passes.
NYCFC II are now in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, with 11 points after seven games.
NYCFC II, Jonathan Jimenez 20’
TFC II, Alonso Coello 45’ (P)
NYCYC II, John Denis 68’ (P)
NYCFC II, Piero Elias 81’
NYCFC II, El Mehdi Youssoufi 90+1’