Alex Bono makes one of his five first-half saves. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
HARRISON, N.J. — Call them the scoreless wonders.
Despite outplaying and outshooting Toronto FC, a frustrated New York City FC side walked out of Red Bull Arena without any goals or points Wednesday night. Toronto FC recorded a 1-0 win on an 11th-hour goal.
On Saturday, NYCFC played the host New England Revolution to a 0-0 draw.
Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono was excellent, stopping everything that the home team sent his way. He finished with eight saves.
NYCFC out shot the Canadian side, 16-9, and had more attempts on target, 8-3.
“We have to kill teams off when you have those chances we have,” NYCFC head coach Ronny Deila said.
Alejandro Pozuelo converted a penalty kick in the 90th minute as the deciding score after Nicolas Acevdeo was called for a hand ball on a Justin Morrow shot.
“Today we deserved to keep [a zero] as well, but you can’t blame anybody [for the handball],” Deila said. “Then in the end we lose.”
Video courtesy of the NYCFC Facebook page
The good news was that NYCFC created opportunities, oodles of them. The bad thing was the squad could not finish.
“It’s a lot worse in performances where you’re not creating chances and you’re not getting your opportunity,” forward Gary Mackay-Steven said. “Obviously tonight was frustrating. I felt we dominated for long periods of the game. We didn’t take our chances which it ultimately comes down to.”
As if the hosts needed more headaches, striker Heber went down with an apparent knee injury in the 84th minute and needed to be stretchered off the field. City already is missing playmaking midfielder Maxi Moralez, who is sidelined from four weeks to a month with a knee injury of his own.
City did everything but score in the opening 45 minutes. The hosts placed five shots on target and Bono stopped everything kicked and headed his way.
In the 11th minute, Bono parried a Valentín Castellanos shot from 13 yards over the crossbar.
Bono denied Jesus Media in the 19th minute. After Gary Mackay-Steven shot just left in the 26th minute, Bono took center stage again, denying a Keaton Parks’ header in the 32nd minute.
Even NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson got into the act in the 34th minute as he knocked Alejandro Pozuelo’s drive out of bounds for a Toronto corner kick.
Seven minutes later Bono took over the spotlight again, making a stomach save on Alex Ring’s close-range shot.
There was little doubt NYCFC outplayed Toronto and deserved more than a scoreless halftime tie.
Deila felt the game got to his team during the late stages of the match.
“The last 20 minutes we lost our intensity, we lost our pressure,” he said. “We didn’t move the ball. We were more talking about the ref than talking about playing the actual game. They were ready to get killed off the last 20 minutes but we couldn’t manage to do it because we lost our focus and that’s disappointing.”
“I feel the buildup play, getting into the final third, we’re doing a lot of good things and I feel it will turn for us,” Mackay-Steven said. “It’s a little frustrating but it comes down to hard work on the training ground. The goals will come for sure, but we keep our heads up, keep positive. A lot was good about tonight, but we just need to work on getting the ball in the back of the net.”