New York City FC notched up a first win of Season 5 at Audi Field vs. D.C. United on Easter Sunday.
Here’s Five Points from City’s 2-0 victory in the DMV…
Off the Mark
This was a morale-boosting win by any measure, with NYCFC venting frustrations at recent dropped points at D.C.’s expense.
After a tough opening to the season, the first win hardly looked in doubt in the Capital, with the Boys in Blue turning in a near-perfect road performance with unanswered goals from Alexandru Mitriță and Héber.
Despite having less possession than D.C., NYCFC took more shots (18-10), had more shots on target (6-3) and could’ve won by an even bigger margin on the balance of play.
It truly was a day of firsts as City earned their first-ever win at Audi Field and a first away triumph since the August 12 victory at Toronto.
Oh, and we also won in an adidas x Parley kit for the first time… 💪
To make it even sweeter, this was a victory over the early Eastern Conference pacesetters.
Wayne Rooney’s side were flying in the opening seven weeks of the season and were heavy favorites in the eyes of neutrals going into this one, with City occupying an unfamiliar and unwanted 12th spot in the Conference at kick-off.
City’s improved performance on the road at Minnesota, especially in the second half, suggested it was only a matter of time until Dome Torrent’s men started to ascend the standings and now New York will be looking to continue the climb, with two home games in three days this week.
With the first three points of the season accumulated, the situation looks a lot healthier, especially when you consider that NYCFC have only been defeated once in 2019.
Torrent experimented with three at the back in the first half in Minnesota and that was a trial he repeated in D.C., with James Sands starting alongside Maxime Chanot and the returning Alexander Callens.
The combination worked perfectly, with the trio providing a rock-solid base and ensuring a quiet afternoon for the talented United frontline, featuring Rooney and Luciano Acosta.
The system also seemed to bring the best out of wing-backs Anton Tinnerholm and Ronald Matarrita, who both provided solidity at the back, as well as vital overlaps on NYC’s attacking raids on both sides.
Tinnerholm won a penalty on one of these counters, while Matarrita created the winning goal for Héber with a sublime ball over the top which put the Brazilian through on goal.
Is this a blueprint for road games, or will we see it at Yankee Stadium in the coming tests? It’ll be interesting to see...
Per Torrent: “I remember last year we had many problems when we played away. That changed and right now I am very happy, especially for our supporters because I know how important it is for them.”
Héber’s Day of Firsts
First Start. First Assist. First Goal. First Win. First Heineken Man of the Match award.
We told you it was a day of firsts in Washington…
Next up, City faces Chicago Fire for Bronx Borough Night at Yankee Stadium in the first 90’ of a two-game week back home.
With Orlando to follow at the weekend, there’s a real opportunity for NYCFC to continue their good form and continue the positive momentum conjured up through two good road performances.
To keep this same energy against two in-form teams we’ll need the Bronx bouncing, so make sure you rock up to the stadium and make some noise as we strive to make Season 5 one to remember for the Boys in Blue.