New York City FC’s first ever playoff experience ended in bitter heartache as a confident Toronto side brushed them aside in the Bronx.
The Canadian side brought a handy 2-0 lead to the Yankees Stadium thanks to a late double from Jozy Altidore and Tosaint Rickets in last week’s first leg – a lead that looked far from safe at the start of the game.
Coupled with the return of Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard to the first eleven, a comeback was hardly far fetched for Patrick Viera’s side.
But that hope was swiftly quashed as the diminutive figure of Sebastien Giovinco did what he has done so often for the Reds, working his way into the danger area and finishing with aplomb to make it 3-0 on aggregate.
And didn’t take the Italian long to double his tally for the night. He managed to wriggle his way into the Blues box once more, only this time he was met by the giant stature of Frederic Brillant, who felled the striker just 20 minutes in.
…And Gio didn’t disappoint the travelling fans.
Goalkeeper Eirik Johansen had been preferred to Josh Saunders for the third game in a row, but the youngster was left cursing his fortune as Jozy Altidore found his shooting boots too.
The former Sunderland man was sent over the top all too easily, before sending a vicious strike into the far corner of the net. It was 3-0 on the half hour.
City rarely mustered a chance. Jack Harrison saw himself muscled out of the game and Tommy McNamara was all but non-existent on the opposite flank.
Frank Lampard’s shots from range were their only outlet, and they hardly bothered Clinton Irwin in the Toronto net.
And soon enough Toronto were back on the scoresheet.
Just 5 minutes after half time Jonathan Osorio made it an embarrassing 6-0, thanks largely to some utterly suicidal defending courtesy of substitute Khiry Shelton, who appeared in place of RJ Allen.
And there was only one man to complete the rout.
The night belonged to Sebastian Giovinco, and he completed his hat-trick on the stroke of full time with a typically impressive strike. There was no stopping this one.
New York City shipped their 7th goal of the playoff semi.
A fantastic season with some tremendous highs and some astounding goals was hardly given the fitting send off it deserved, however there were few mistakes from the Sixth Borough faithful. Most stayed until the end to see the boys off the field one last time until next season.
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