Altidore’s flick helps Toronto dispatch Red Bulls
Jozy Altidore scored a highlight-reel goal, and host Toronto FC defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-1 on Wednesday night in MLS play.
Alejandro Pozuelo added a penalty-kick goal, and defender Ashtone Morgan scored the second goal of his nine-year career as Toronto (8-8-5, 29 points) moved into a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with New York City FC. The top seven teams make the playoffs.
Tom Barlow scored for the fourth-place Red Bulls (9-8-4, 31 points), who were coming off an emotional 2-1 home victory against NYCFC in the New York Derby on Sunday.
Toronto won its second in a row since the return of Altidore from international play — in which he guided the U.S. to the CONCACAF Gold Cup final — and the debut of defender Omar Gonzalez, who also played for the U.S. in the Gold Cup.
Altidore’s goal came in the sixth minute off a near-post cross from Tsubasa Endoh. About 12 yards out from the net, Altidore made a diagonal run from the center of the field to outside the right post while Endoh had the ball on the right wing. Altidore flicked the low cross with the back of his right heel, with his shot glancing off the left post and into the net past stunned Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles.
Like Altidore, Pozuelo scored in his second straight game. He chipped a penalty kick into the left side of the net after he caught Robles leaning the wrong way in the 26th minute. The penalty came after Red Bulls defender Kemar Lawrence’s slide tackle on Toronto’s Richie Laryea was ruled a foul.
The score remained 2-0 until the 63rd minute, when Tom Barlow gave the Red Bulls some hope. He tapped a 6-yard shot into the net with his left foot after a sterling run by teammate Derrick Etienne into the box.
But Morgan, who entered as a substitute less than 10 minutes earlier, scored an insurance goal in the 72nd minute. Altidore’s pass into the box for Morgan was long, with Red Bulls defender Michael Murillo trying to shield the ball to let Robles pick it up. But Morgan muscled his way between the two, stealing the ball before spinning and putting a shot from the top of the 6-yard box into an empty net.
Toronto goalie Quentin Westberg made six saves, while Robles had just one, as New York held a 20-9 edge in shots, including 7-4 on target.
REUTERS/Field Level Media