New York 4-4 Toronto: Sebastian Giovinco nets hat-trick in classic
Last Updated: 13/07/15 8:49am
New York and Toronto played out a MLS classic that ended 4-4, included four penalties and a Sebastian Giovinco hat-trick.
Giovinco also grabbed an assist in an amazing performance, but missed a penalty early on as his side came back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 at half-time.
A David Villa penalty, the second of his two goals - he also missed a penalty in the first-half - levelled the game up at 3-3 but Marco Delgado looked to have won it for the visitors with eight minutes remaining.
However, Patrick Mullins netted an 84th minute equaliser to dramatically draw the sides level.
An on-looking Frank Lampard, who was supposed to make his debut for New York before a calf injury ruled him out, will have been licking his lips at some of the defending on show.
The game actually took a while to spark into life but Villa’s free-kick on 19 minutes opened the floodgates for a free-flowing end-to-end affair.
His opening goal was a fine strike from 20-yards after New York had won a free-kick on the edge of the area.
Toronto almost hit back immediately but Giovinco couldn’t convert from the spot after referee had given a foul for a push in the back of Delgado.
They were 2-0 down inside 29 minutes as the referee awarded a second penalty in a matter of minutes.
Thomas McNamara was fouled in the area by Damien Perquis but Villa's effort from the spot was tame and it was pushed away by Chris Konopka. Luckily for New York, Mullins was quick to react and forced the ball home via a deflection off Perquis.
Staggeringly, the referee was again involved three minutes later as he awarded a third penalty as Kwame Siriboe mistimed a lunge on Delgado.
Giovinco stepped up and this time found the bottom corner to make it 2-1.
The former Juventus man was now in the mood and drew his team level on 41 minutes after zipping in behind Siriboe and finishing neatly into the bottom corner.
The goalscorer wasn’t done there though and grabbed an amazing nine minute hat-trick on the stroke of half-time to put his side in front. He cheekily flicked home a cross from the right over the despairing dive of John Saunders.
The referee’s whistle brought an end to the crazy scenes, but only temporarily – as New York equalised on 65 minutes.
Villa netted from the spot – the fourth penalty to be awarded.
This time Konopka had come flying out of his goal and brought down the former Barcelona striker, who had just witnessed Giovinco hit a post after waltzing through a dumbfounded New York defence.
Giovinco wasn’t to be upstaged by Villa though and he provided the assist for his side to take an incredible 4-3 lead on 82 minutes. This time he weaved his way down the left before squaring the ball to Delgado who couldn’t miss from five yards out.
That looked to be the winning goal but with the clock ticking down a Villa free-kick caused panic in the Toronto back-line and Mullins was on hand to powerfully head home from close range to level the match at 4-4.
In the night's other action, Kevin Ellis' header gave Kansas City Royals a 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps to narrow the gap on the Western Conference leading Seattle, Vancouver and Dallas to just two points.