New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson stopped a penalty kick in the 78th minute to help his club post a 1-1 tie with visiting Toronto FC on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Johnson thwarted a shot by Toronto midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo, who converted a penalty kick earlier in the contest. The save, one of four by Johnson, helped NYCFC (15-5-9, 54 points) stretch its unbeaten streak to six games (5-0-1) and increase its Eastern Conference lead to three points over the Philadelphia Union.
Midfielder Alexandru Mitrita scored NYCFC's goal, the only on-target shot among the team's 10. NYCFC improved to 9-1-5 at home.
Toronto FC (11-10-9, 42 points) also has a six-game unbeaten stretch (2-0-4), and moved into a fourth place in the East. TFC is tied on points with D.C. United but owns a superior goal difference.
Pozuelo took his second penalty kick after New York City FC defender Ben Sweat was called for a hand ball.
He sent a hard right-footed shot toward the right side, and Johnson anticipated the direction and was able to knock the ball away with his right hand.
NYCFC also survived a Toronto FC chance in the 87th minute. A close-range, left-footed shot by midfielder Nicolas Benezet soared over the net.
Toronto took 15 shots and put five on target.
NYCFC struck in the sixth minute. Mitrita took a free kick and sent a right-footed blast from the top of the box around the wall and into the right corner of the net. It was his eighth goal of the season.
Toronto tied the score in the 40th minute after NYCFC defender Sebastien Ibeagha was caught pulling the jersey of forward Jozy Altidore in the box. Pozuelo took the penalty kick and placed it in the lower right corner of the net for his 10th goal of the season to knot the score at 1-1.
NYCFC had a 5-4 edge in first-half shots. Both teams had one on target.
Mitrita had a chance to put NYCFC ahead in the 70th minute, but his hard left-footer smacked off the left goal post.