Toronto capitalize on controversial play to salvage late point against New York City FC
Nova Scotia's Jacob Shaffelburg scores 1st MLS goal for TFC, Atlanta beats CF Montreal
Thanks to Jacob Shaffelburg's first MLS goal, Toronto FC left Yankee Stadium with a point after a 1-1 draw Saturday.
New York City FC was left fuming, believing the tying goal should have been called back for a foul.
"I think we controlled it for 90 minutes. But then, of course, we got robbed by the ref, that's for sure," said NYCFC's Norwegian coach Ronny Deila. "I can't understand it.
"One positive I have to say about him [Canadian referee David Gantar], is that he's humble, to say like 'I did a mistake.' OK, but that doesn't give us two points more."
WATCH | Port Williams, N.S native Jacob Shaffelburg scores his 1st MLS goal to lift TFC to a 1-1 tie:
Paraguayan Jesus Medina gave NYCFC the lead in the 53rd minute, taking advantage of an error by Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono off a free kick.
But after going ahead, NYCFC (2-1-2) lost its way and its temper. And Toronto coach Chris Armas helped turn the tide with his substitutions.
Newly signed Dom Dwyer came off the Toronto bench in the 69th minute, quickly making a nuisance of himself in front of the New York goal. The veteran forward is like 181 pounds of sandpaper on the football pitch.
Shaffelburg, a 21-year-old from Port Williams, N.S., who came on the same time as Dwyer, beat Sean Johnson in the 74th minute with a low shot off a feed from fellow substitute Patrick Mullins to earn Toronto (1-2-2) the point.
Shaffelburg's big goal
"Instant energy," Armas said of the pacey Shaffelburg, who loves to run at defenders.
"The boys are celebrating in the locker-room. It's a big goal for him and the team," he added.
Shaffelburg, making his 17th MLS appearance since joining the TFC first team in June 2019, said the goal was a relief.
"I was kind of kept putting it on myself to get a goal and it was getting a bit much. So to get that was a breath of a fresh air and a weight off my back."
Wild, controversial passage of play
There was a wild, controversial passage of play prior to Shaffelburg's goal.
In the 70th minute, Bono's kick from the top of the box hit Medina in the back of the head and bounced back into the goal. But Gantar blew the whistle before the ball entered the goal, drawing the ire of the NYCFC camp.
The bile continued to grow as Dwyer bodied NYCFC's James Sands to the ground on the ensuing goal kick.
When the ball went back into the Toronto end, it was NYCFC called for a foul. Captain Michael Bradley's ensuing free kick led to the goal with Dwyer colliding with — and flattening — a NYCYC defender in the buildup.
"James [Sands] got run down. It was a free kick," said Deila.
Armas, predictably, saw it differently.
"Two teams played hard. They competed the right way. They played fair," he said. "And the referee managed it in a way that keeps it under control.
"Nothing out of normal for me."
Atlanta stuns Montreal in stoppage time
Marcelino Moreno scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time to give Atlanta United a 1-0 victory over Montreal.
George Bello sent it ahead to Jake Mulraney, who crossed it to Moreno in the middle of the 18-yard box. Moreno's header glanced in off the right post to give Atlanta United (2-1-2) the lead two minutes before the final whistle.
WATCH | Atlanta United shocks CF Montreal in stoppage time:
Kamal Miller nearly scored for Montreal (2-2-2) in the 48th minute on a long-range shot that hit off the top of the crossbar.
There were 40,116 in attendance at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium, its largest crowd since it hosted more than 69,000 in a match against Cincinnati on March 7, 2020.