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New York City FC got back to winning ways on Wednesday night against CF Montréal thanks to a goal from Ismael Tajouri-Shradi.

Here’s Five Points from a great night for the Boys in Blue, presented by Etihad Airways…

Press Success

We discussed in the Keys to the Match for CF Montréal how pressing our Canadian opponent could be beneficial.

As the game wore on, we saw that firsthand, with several NYCFC’s chances late in the game coming from engaging Wilfried Nancy’s side in their defensive third. That approach may seem risky, and it takes courage to be so aggressive with a 1-0 lead, but the Boys in Blue were determined to get a second goal right up until the final whistle.

Ronny Deila has built a team that is good at pressing, and that will be a test for every team in MLS.

Route One-Nil

New York City FC have played some beautiful soccer this season utilizing short passing to carve through opponents. Coincidentally the best example of this came during their first meeting with CF Montréal earlier this month.

On Wednesday, however, the Boys in Blue opted for a slightly different approach in order to take the lead. Luis Barraza has a reputation for being good with his feet, and that often shows itself when the team are trying to build out from the back.

This time Barraza showed the range of his distribution with a long goal-kick, and it was entirely intentional. Listen back to the clip, and you’ll hear Barraza give a loud call to Ismael Tajouri-Shradi before playing him in behind the Montréal defence.

From there, Tajouri-Shradi deserves tremendous credit, not just for winning a battle of strength with Zorhan Bassong, but for also maintaining his composure to apply the finish.

It might not have looked like a typical NYCFC goal, but it was effective, and that’s what was needed to get the win.

Luis Comes Up Big

Wednesday night was a special one for Luis Barraza. Goalkeepers don’t aspire to produce assists, but they do aim to keep clean sheets and win games.

The former Marquette Golden Eagle had big gloves to fill while Sean Johnson is away, and it would have been easy for him to let nerves take over after the defeat against Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Instead, Barraza stepped up, provided a calming presence at the back, and ultimately proved to be an influential force in the final third. His celebration at the end was not just a realization of one win and one clean sheet, but years of hard work and dedication.

For that reason, here’s to you, Luis. Hopefully, it’s the first of many with the Boys in Blue.

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Point Proven 

Anton Tinnerholm did not mince words on Saturday night after the defeat to Columbus Crew. 

The Swedish defender told the media the team had a point to prove on Wednesday, and Head Coach Ronny Deila echoed those sentiments.

The Norwegian stressed it was about proving a point results-wise, and by the end of Wednesday, it was a case of mission accomplished. The meeting with Montréal was a test of character for this group, and they passed. 

Build Momentum 

The players barely have time to breathe before they’re back on the field this Sunday to face off against Orlando City SC. 

The last time they faced Oscar Pareja’s side the Boys in Blue came away with a point thanks to a Taty Castellanos penalty. 

Orlando will play Philadelphia Union tonight before jetting north to face NYCFC. The game on Sunday represents a great opportunity for NYCFC to cement their position in the playoff spots and build momentum heading into a congested month of fixtures.

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