New York City FC’s place in the quarterfinals of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League was assured last night, thanks to a 1-0 win vs. AD San Carlos.
That equated to a 6-3 aggregate victory, setting up a last eight meeting with Tigres UANL.
Here’s five things we learned from an historic night…
City’s 6-3 victory was the first two-legged victory the Club has enjoyed in tournament play and gave Ronny Deila a winning start as NYCFC boss.
That City would advance was rarely in doubt across the 180 minutes as the Boys in Blue exploded into 2020 with some style.
In the second leg, NYC dominated throughout and perhaps could have won by a larger margin, but Deila was satisfied with what he saw in his second official game.
Deila told reporters: "On the ball, we created 6 or 7 big chances. That’s not normal in these games. I was also really proud of the boys in the first half... It was important to go hard out and get the first goal, because then you kill it, and we did that."
Deila wanted a fast start in the second leg. He got it.
NYCFC banged down the door for the opening in an explosive opening 20 minutes, playing some beautiful football across the lines of the pitch.
However, this play looked like it would go unrewarded for the first half – that was until the 41st minute when Alex Callens rose to nod home the night’s only goal.
City were able to control the game in the second half, giving minutes to Sebastien Ibeagha, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Gary Mackay-Steven as the build-up to Major League Soccer’s 25th season rolls on.
No doubt Alexander Callens enjoyed his first CCL experience…
The Peruvian defender scored goals in both legs, with his winning goal on the night at Red Bull Arena a towering header in the 41st minute.
Callens looks a set piece threat for Deila which could be another important weapon as City goes for silverware across four fronts.
Sands of Time
Ronny reserved special praise for James Sands after yet another accomplished performance from City’s first-ever Homegrown player.
The Rye-native was retained at the base of midfield from the first leg and barely put a foot wrong in a display which saw him nominated for the Heineken Man of the Match award.
Deila said: “Today he was outstanding. The best game I’ve seen from him. His positioning defensively is really, really good, he’s tough in the challenges, and on the ball I don’t think he played one bad pass. He’s just growing every day.”
Now it’s onto Ohio for the first game of NYCFC’s sixth MLS season.
Columbus Crew SC await for a Sunday lunchtime clash which will see Deila lock horns with Caleb Porter at the MAPFRE Stadium.
It promises to be a stern early test of our league credentials, so keep it locked to our social media channels and NYCFC.com for all of your buildup needs.