Giovinco stopped on penalty, Red Bulls beat Toronto FC 1-0

Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley (4) makes a shot on goal during second-half MLS soccer game action against the New York Red Bulls in Toronto, Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) Kemar Lawrence scored in the fourth minute and the New York Red Bulls made it stand in a 1-0 victory over defending MLS champion Toronto FC on Sunday.

Toronto had plenty of chances to tie it in the second half, including Sebastian Giovinco’s 78th-minute penalty. But Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles was up to every challenge.

It was the first meeting between the two since Toronto dispatched the Red Bulls in an ill-tempered Eastern Conference semifinal last year.

Toronto (4-9-3) has won just one of its last six games (1-3-2) and stands eight points below Chicago in the last playoff spot, although it has two games in hand. TFC lost just five games during its championship season last year.

The Red Bulls (10-4-2) are unbeaten in four games (3-0-1) and have lost just once in their last 10 outings (7-1-2).