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New York City Football Club secured home field advantage in the 2022 MLS Playoffs with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Orlando City on Sunday.

Here are Five Points from the impressive comeback win at Red Bull Arena...

Playoffs Pending

The Boys in Blue will begin the post season on home soil when the tournament kicks-off in mid-October.

With qualification already clinched, thanks to Chicago Fire's 3-2 win at Cincinnati on Saturday, the pressure was alleviated slightly for Orlando's visit - but Nick Cushing's side had their sights firmly set on cementing a top-four finish for home advantage.

That desire was clear for all to see with the way the hosts rallied to fight back and grab that all-important three points, which lifted the reigning MLS Cup Champions into third spot in the Eastern Conference - six points clear of Cincinnati with one game of the regular season to go.

Two Citys

One of the most pleasing aspects of Sunday's impressive win was the fact New York portrayed two sides to their game.

Trailing to Facundo Torres' second-half strike, the team would have been forgiven for dropping their heads in fear of falling to another frustrating defeat after August and September's challenging run - but instead, the squad regrouped and responded superbly.

The Boys in Blue rallied to claw themselves back into the contest, quite literally forcing the leveler over the line - Keaton Parks battling to keep the ball alive and Talles Magno outmuscling his defender to carve the opening, before crossing for Alex Callens to slide home the crucial effort that turned the tide.

The winning goal was a thing of beauty - a well-worked passing move that started in the backline and turned defense into attack with a single sensational pass, courtesy of Maxi Moralez. The Argentine clipped the ball delightfully into Gabriel Pereira, who then played an inch-perfect through-ball into Talles Magno's path and the Brazilian drilled across the goalkeeper to snatch all three points late on.

It was a real show of mental strength from City - the team were not about to throw in the towel, and were not afraid of those previous results. Instead, they took what they learned during that period - the need for patience, perseverance and placing trust in the gameplan - and saw their efforts deservedly come to fruition.

Big, battling, and beautiful.

Talles Magnificent

What a performance by Talles Magno.

The 20-year-old produced a Man of the Match display to steer City to victory with an influential contribution, crafting an assist and recording a 90% passing accuracy to accompany his match-winning strike.

From the offset, he looked hungry, carving the game's first chance, and looked threatening throughout, registering three attempts on goal in total.

His sheer determination earned reward for City's leveler, as he used his strength to latch onto Parks' poke forward before squaring the ball into the danger zone for Callens to convert.

Then, it was all about his timing, composure, and quality of the finish for the winner, as he drilled Pereira's pass expertly beyond Pedro Gallese to turn the game on its head.

You could tell just how much it meant to the Brazilian with his celebration, and that will give him a major confidence boost heading into a crunch few weeks.

With seven goals and nine assists to his name, it's no surprise he was shortlisted for the Young Player of the Year in the 2022 MLS End of Season Awards. Keep on dancing!

Match Highlights | NYCFC 2-1 Orlando City SC

Strength In Numbers

With Keaton Parks, Anton Tinnerholm, and Héber all now back in contention, as well as Alfredo Morales nearing a comeback, Cushing's side are close to full fitness at a pivotal time of the season.

While the Interim Head Coach joked after the game that he now faces a selection headache, it is most definitely a nice problem to have: to boast so many talented, hungry and in-form players at your disposal - all who bring their own unique and useful qualities, and experience.

Striving for consistency, Cushing opted to maintain the same starting XI that had featured in the previous game: the 2-0 win over Red Bulls, with the team having had the benefit of the international break to gel on and off the pitch.

However, when needed, he had options to call upon and his five substitutions changed the contest, increasing City's energy and attacking output, whilst handing valuable minutes to players who had not clocked much game time in recent weeks, providing them a platform to stake their claim for the upcoming Playoff push.

"I always bounce around the 'freshness and form', and form is really important going into the Playoffs," Cushing said. "Last year proved that for us.

"Of course, we will get players minutes. We have to get players up to speed - we want Alfredo Morales back, we want Keaton Parks being able to play 90 minutes, Anton Tinnerholm... but then the likes of Thiago Andrade, Matías Pellegrini, Malte Amundsen deserve to play. They're training so hard."

The coming weeks will require a real team effort, and every single person - the players, staff and fans - is doing their bit.

On A Roll

Sunday's win continued our fine winning streak, extending our run to three victories in succession in all competitions - all of which have held meaning: the latest success adding to September's memorable Campeones Cup and Hudson River Derby triumphs.

As Cushing also said in the aftermath, momentum is key in the run-in to the final stretch and although City have a Playoff place and home field advantage secured, the MLS Cup holders will be seeking nothing less than a victory in the final game of the regular season in Sunday's trip to Atlanta.

Three points may not be essential in the overall outcome in terms of league standings but the importance of maintaining the winning feeling, high confidence and a positive mindset cannot be underestimated.

As the title-winning 2021 campaign showed, entering the post-season tournament in strong form can make all the difference and a win this weekend could suggest New York are rekindling our rhythm at just the right time...