Toronto FC are back in the Eastern Conference Final, after defeating New York City FC 2-1 in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinal at Citi Field on Wednesday.
TFC, the No. 4 seed in the East, upset NYCFC, the top seed, and will play their third Eastern Conference Final in the last four seasons. NYCFC's impressive campaign will end after just one playoff game in 2019.
Both teams entered the game missing their top strikers in their respective XIs, Jozy Altidore completely unavailable for the night due to injury, while Heber joined the fray for NYCFC at the hour mark.
Toronto dominated the first half, but their six-to-one edge in shots led to no goals, with Sean Johnson making four saves for NYCFC in the opening 45. But TFC got the edge just after the break, as a poor header in his own box by Maxime Chanot produced a gilt-edged opportunity, Alejandro Pozuelo pouncing on the looping backpass and beating Johnson with ease.
But NYCFC awakened after the gaffe, and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi tied the game in the 69th minute with a one-timer off a looping cross from MLS assist king Maxi Moralez. Then, in the dying minutes Ronald Matarrita brought down Richie Laryea in NYCFC's box, and Pozuelo hit the panenka penalty to put TFC in front late.