Ifunanyachi Achara (99) celebrates with teammates after scoring against New York City FC. (Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports)
TORONTO — After scoring six goals in its first two Concacaf Champions League matches, the goals have dried up for New York City FC.
For the second consecutive MLS game, NYCFC was blanked by a 1-0 score, this time by nemesis Toronto FC at BMO Field on Saturday.
Last week, City dropped a 1-0 decision at Columbus Crew SC in its season opener.
“It was a tough game against a good opponent,” midfielder Keaton Parks said. “I think we fought hard, everybody put in their full effort today. We didn’t create as many chances as we would have liked to. They capitalized on one of theirs and we lost. That’s just how it goes.”
Toronto eliminated NYCFC from the 2019 playoffs while head coach Ronny Deila has lost his first two MLS matches.
“I think we didn’t play a good first half,” he said. “I think we started ok but after a while we were getting problems especially in the midfield. They played through us and got pressure on us, but I think when we went out in the second half, we were much better in a 20 minutes period there. We created a big chance with Jesus [Medina] and then the game was very even but, in the end, they had a couple more chances. I’m disappointed in the first half. 20 minutes of the second half we were in better shape, we were a better team than we were in the first.”
Asked to explain what happened, Deila replied, “It’s hard to say. We have to evaluate it afterwards and see what it was. We started ok but then we got very flat very quickly and we got our play in the second half, but we have to play like that for 90 minutes if we want to get the three points.”
Ifunanyachi Achara scored the lone goal of the match in the 56th minute past goalkeeper Sean Johnson before a crowd of 26,171.
“They created chances for themselves and I they capitalized on one and we couldn’t,” Park said.
Before its home opener next week at Yankee Stadium, City will host Leon (Mexico) in the first leg of the CCL quarterfinals at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday.
“That is no problem, that’s good,” Deila said. “That’s four days until the next game now. We want to get out and get winning. It’s going to be a big game on Wednesday and I’m looking forward to it.”