Ismael Tajouri-Shradi recorded two goals, including the 88th-minute winner, to lift New York City FC to a 3-2 victory over a Toronto FC side that played almost the entire match with 10 men after Jozy Altidore was shown red in the 11th minute Sunday at BMO Field.
After missing seven games due to injury, David Villa made his triumphant return to the NYCFC lineup with the game’s first goal in the 15th minute. A mishit first-time strike by Anton Tinnerholm landed favorably on Villa’s foot and the NYCFC captain took a touch around Nick Hagglund before a low finish inside the far post.
Sebastian Giovinco leveled in the 27th minute against the run of play before Tajouri-Shradi slipped a shot below a diving Alex Bono nine minutes later.
Victor Vazquez equalized in the 51st minute, bravely heading among defenders to latch onto a Marky Delgado headed pass. It looked for a while the Reds would play to a second consecutive 2-2 draw, but Tajouri-Shradi sealed the road win two minutes from full-time with a thunderous left-footed strike.
DOMÈNEC TORRENT – HEAD COACH, NEW YORK CITY FC
Thoughts on the team’s play with a man up…
I didn’t like it I said to them, my players in the first half. But we had the same problem in the second half. We had to play narrow because they can play in between the lines. At the end, this is football. In the last game we drew the game in the last five minutes and today we won the game in the last five minutes. I’m very happy for my players because they fight until the last moment and they believed in themselves.
The importance of getting David Villa back…
We were able to win without David because we have a strong team and strong players. But obviously everyone knows that David is special for us because, as you’ve seen today, in his first action he was able to score a goal. Sometimes we play with David and Jo, sometimes we play four-four-two, and sometimes we play with wingers wide. We can play in different ways. For me it’s the best way to play football.
What did you see on the red card?
Believe me, I didn’t see because I was on the bench. I didn’t see what happened in the moment. I don’t want to say it was a red card, but I don’t know.
ALEXANDER COLLINS – DEFENDER, NEW YORK CITY FC
Thoughts on the game…
It was a very hard game. We knew Toronto was going to play well at home and really respect their home territory. Obviously, we didn’t feel like we capitalized when Jozy (Altidore) was shown the red card but just happy for the three points.
What happened on the red card?
I didn’t do anything personally, we just had a few encounters throughout the game. It was all body though, nothing with the legs until he reacted. Obviously, he didn’t like it, but he reacted but I didn’t do anything.
On the fans reactions towards you throughout the remainder of the match…
It doesn’t bother me. I really focus on what’s on the field and how the team functions and how I play. I don’t really give importance to what happens outside of that.
DAVID VILLA –FORWARD, NEW YORK CITY FC
On being back in the lineup…
I’m happy to be back to be with the team. I was very worried. It was a bad time for me because I couldn’t help the team and I lost my focus. I did everything to help us out but the knee says no every time so I need to wait until my knee says yes. To play 70 minutes, in a difficult scenario because we played with a lot of heat, a lot of hours in the trip and travel, but I’m happy. I’m happy for the victory of the team, that is the most important thing. To help the team win the game I’m happy for as well.
On having an immediate impact on the game…
I was feeling good in the first half. Probably in the second half I was feeling a little bit tired. We had a plan before the game for me to play about 60 minutes, I can play 70 minutes finally, so I’m happy. Obviously, I need time, I need time because I spent a lot of time away, I need time to gain confidence in my knee. But obviously my body is not in the same condition as the other players because I was out. I tried to do my best and the first half I was feeling very good, not only for the goal, not only for the plays, because my knee managed very well.
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