New York and Toronto gave fans a MLS classic on Sunday that ended 4-4, including a league-record four penalties and a Sebastian Giovinco hat-trick.
Frank Lampard – who watched on from the stands – was supposed to make his debut for New York before a calf injury ruled him out.
The game sparked into life after 19 minutes, when Villa’s free-kick opened the floodgates for a free-flowing end-to-end affair.
Villa showed his quality with the opening goal, it 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.
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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 a poor one, and it was pushed away by Chris Konopka. However, Mullins was quick to react and forced the ball home via a deflection off Perquis.
Amazing, the referee awarded a third penalty as Kwame Siriboe mis-timed a lunge on Delgado. Atoning for his earlier miss from the spot, Giovinco made no mistake at the second time of asking.
The former Juventus player now had his eye on adding to his tally and drew his team level on 41 minutes after running in behind Siriboe and finishing neatly into the bottom corner.
Giovinco finished 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 Italy international’s nine-minute treble was the Canadian franchise’s first-ever in MLS history.
Toronto Manager Greg Vanney was full of praise for the former Juventus star Giovinco. ‘You see what he’s capable of doing on a day like today because he brought out a lot of skills and treats.’
‘But every game is different. Today, he showed what he’s capable of doing. This one has to go down as one of his best games for sure. He was excellent.’
New York equalised on 65 minutes as Villa netted from the spot – the fourth penalty to be awarded. Konopka rushed out of his goal and brought down the former Barcelona striker, just after Giovinco hit a post.
Delgado restored the visitors’ lead thanks to a piece of Giovinco brilliance. The 28-year-old ran down the flank, avoiding several challenges, before squaring the ball into the path of Delgado for a tap-in to give Toronto an incredible 4-3 lead on 82 minutes.
That looked to be the winning goal but full-time approaching, a David 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.
The point moves Toronto into a four-team tie with Orlando City, Columbus and NE Revolution for third place in the Eastern Conference with 24 points from 17 games, while New York City sit ninth on 21 points.