Being able to pounce on a moment’s notice is the hallmark of the modern attacking midfielder and few better exemplified this quality than Toronto FC’s Alejandro Pozuelo.
With Toronto FC travelling to play the top-seeded New York City FC in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Pozuelo scored on a 90th-minute penalty and the finish couldn’t be any cheekier.
Toronto was awarded the penalty when Richie Laryea was hauled down in the box by NYCFC’s Rónald Matarrita, after cutting inside on a daring run.
It wasn’t the first mistake Pozuelo pounced on during the game. Pozuelo took full advantage of a catastrophic blunder from NYCFC’s Maxime Chanot in the 48th minute to put Toronto FC on the board.
Chanot nonchalantly heads the ball back to goalkeeper Sean Johnston, but the ball isn’t anywhere close, landing in the middle of the box where Pozuelo calmly brings it down and deposits the ball into the corner for a 1-0 lead.
Johnston, to no one’s surprise, is left standing silently fuming at his defenders for allowing Pozuelo to walk in virtually uncontested.
New York’s Ismael Tajouri notched a 69th-minute equalizer but Pozuelo remained undeterred.
It’s a minor upset of sorts but the good news for Toronto FC is that Pozuelo appears to be in top form when it matters most, as the club awaits their conference final opponent, squaring off against the winner of Thursday’s game between Atlanta United FC and the Philadelphia Union.
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