The effort has been there, the luck has not.
Still, New York City FC pressed forward, kept working and finally on Saturday afternoon, picked up their first home win of the season, defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps, 3-2.
“It’s really important, important for a lot of things,” David Villa said. “The first is for getting the three points, but it is our first victory at home, with our fans. We give the present to our fans. Today is really important.”
Villa was the catalyst, striking for a brace late in the first half, including a stunning side volley off an Andrea Pirlo corner kick, to give NYCFC a 2-1 halftime lead. It was a spectacular performance by a captain who leads by example and never ceases to amaze.
“He is incredible,” Mix Diskerud said. “Seeing him every day at training and seeing the goals that he can score, I’m not surprised to see the goals that he scored. Sometimes you just sit back and enjoy the show.”
NYCFC had to battle adversity to snap a seven-match winless streak. They did it after conceding inside the opening minute and again when Christian Bolanos followed his own saved penalty kick and tapped in the rebound to level the match at 2 in the 63rd minute.
“I think we showed a real good spirit because conceding the goal, we stick to the way we want to play,” NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira said. “And to me that was a fantastic message because if teams stick together and we kept our organization and we managed to get back to win the game. I thought that was very good for the team.”
Ten minutes after giving up the equalizer, NYCFC went back in front on Steven Mendoza’s first career goal. Then, they bunkered down defensively with Diskerud and Andoni Iraola coming on as late subs.
When the final whistle blew and the crowd of 25,438 erupted, there was a collective sigh of relief from the players, who just completed a third game in eight days.
“It’s great to go to bed at night,” Diskerud said. “You fall asleep great at night and don’t have nightmares.”