Victor Vazquez scores with a chip shot over Sean Johnson (USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

BRONX — Jo Ange Berget could not have found a better way to impress his new coach.

With only one measly goal to his credit in 12 appearances this MLS season, the Norwegian forward tallied twice within a 17-minute span in the second half to pace New York City FC to a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium Sunday.

Not too shabby, not too shabby at all.

It certainly made the day for new head coach Domenec Torrent, who made his City debut, replacing the departed Patrick Vieira, who has moved on to guide Nice in France.

After obtaining his visa work permit, Torrent flew into town Friday, held his first training session with the team in Orangeburg, N.Y. Saturday night and recorded his first victory as City coach Sunday.

And it was against a team that has given NYCFC (10-4-2, 32), which climbed over the Red Bulls and back into second place in the Eastern Conference, a point behind Atlanta. fits over the past two seasons. The Reds (15), off to a slow start due to its participation in the CONCACAF Champions League, fell to 4-8-3.

Still, the Canadian club enjoyed the upper hand in the opening half as Torrent and his team endured a difficult 45 minutes before a crowd of 23,930.

First, the hosts lost captain and star striker David Villa to an injury in the 28th minute, as Jesus Medina came on for the Spanish international.

In the 37th minute, life went from bad to worse as Toronto FC capitalized on an error by goalkeeper Sean Johnson. Toronto FC keeper Alexander Bono started the scoring sequence with a goal kick up the right side to defender Auro. Auro, in turn, looped a long feed down the side to an onrushing Victor Vazquez, who chipped Johnson from the right edge of the penalty area, with center back Sebastien Ibeagha to the left of him.

Johnson appeared a bit hesitant, allowing Vazquez to score and give Toronto FC a 1-0 lead.

NYCFC dominated possession in the opening minutes of the second half and it paid off in the 51st minute when Berget back-heeled home a Medina feed past Bono for his second goal of the season and a 1-1 tie.

Back Heel Goal? Bergetaboutit!

Posted by New York City FC on Sunday, June 24, 2018

Berget was not finished.

In the 68th minute, Maxi Moralez slipped him a perfect through ball on the right side and the Norwegian slotted the ball home from seven yards for a 2-1 advantage.

Berget's Brace FTW

Posted by New York City FC on Sunday, June 24, 2018

 

Videos courtesy of NYCFC’s Facebook Page

Johnson made two bang-bang saves in the first minute of stoppage time to preserve the win and three points.

 

LINEUPS

New York City FC: Sean Johnson; Ben Sweat, Alexander Callens, Sebastien Ibeagha; Anton Tinnerholm, Alexander Ring, Ebenezer Ofori, Maxi Moralez (88’ Jonathan Lewis), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (93’ Tommy McNamara); Jo Inge Berget, David Villa (27’ Jesus Medina)

SUBS UNUSED: Brad Stuver, Maxime Chanot, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Kwame Awuah

Toronto FC: Alexander Bono; Gregory van der Wiel, Nick Hugglund, Justin Morrow, Auro (46’ Eriq Zavaleta); Michael Bradley, Ager Aketxe (56’ Marco Delgado), Victor Vazquez (68’ Tosaint Ricketts), Jonathan Osorio, Nicolas Hasler; Sebastian Giovinco

SUBS UNUSED: Clint Irwin, Jay Chapman, Mariano Mino, Ryan Telfer

SCORING SUMMARY

37’ – TOR – Victor Vazquez (Assisted by: Auro)

51’ – NYC – Jo Inge Berget (Assisted by: Jesus Medina)

68’ – NYC – Jo Inge Berget (Assisted by: Maxi Moralez)

DISCIPLINE SUMMARY

27’ – TOR– Ager Aketxe (YC – Unsporting Behavior)