New York City Football Club fell to defeat at the hands of D.C. United on Saturday night.
The Boys in Blue suffered a 2-0 loss at Audi Field.
Here are Five Points from the clash in Washington D.C.…
The Eastern Conference playoff race has been chaotic.
Teams have swapped positions week to week with very few points separating the group. That has made it difficult to plan and predict for the twists and turns and one of the central reasons Nick Cushing has prioritized wins and wins only.
Although Saturday’s result was disappointing it has not changed the team’s situation in the final game. They require a victory, and while it would have been preferable to take three points last night, the team is not mathematically excluded from the playoff picture.
That perspective is key heading into Decision Day.
Nick Cushing spoke after the match of the physical and aggressive approach D.C. United prefer.
The Red-and-Black were keen to disrupt NYCFC’s passing rhythm and they found success with that early on. When the hosts had the ball their approach focused on quick transitions with direct passing, which was highlighted by their second goal of the evening.
A stop-start contest unfolded and come the end of the match United lead NYCFC in fouls 18-11. While NYCFC did eventually find a rhythm in possession it was often broken up and it made hard for them to register more clear cut chances.
NYCFC were unfortunate to find themselves on the wrong end of luck on Saturday.
D.C. United’s first goal came as a direct consequence of the ball hitting both posts before landing at the feet of Mateusz Klich. In the second half, Mounsef Bakrar was denied a goal by the same post.
The expected goals for the game had D.C. United only narrowly ahead, and that fine margin was an example of how a few degrees difference defined success and failure for NYCFC.
The team will now have a two week break before their next game.
The team have had a busy few weeks with seven games since August 30 and the international window affords the players and staff a chance to step back from the situation and recover before the visit of Chicago Fire on October 21.
Everything is still to play for, and that should not be forgotten during the next few weeks.
NYCFC enjoyed the lion share of possession and outshot their opponents.
Unfortunately, for the second week in a row they were undone by a set piece. Defending set pieces has been a pain point for the team this season, and it is what stopped them recording a positive result on the road.
The team now has two weeks to continue working on that aspect of their game ahead of the meeting with Chicago.
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