D.C. United Goals: Hines-Ike 39’, Canouse 44’
New York City FC Goals: Castellanos 15’
New York City FC fell to a 2-1 defeat in their season opener against D.C. United at Audi Field on Saturday night. Taty Castellanos opened the scoring, but goals from Brendan Hines-Ike and Russell Canouse allowed United to secure the three points.
New York City FC kicked off their 2021 MLS campaign with a 2-1 defeat against D.C. United at Audi Field on Saturday evening.
The encounter started at a quick pace and was a bruising affair, with Maxi Moralez on the end of several robust challenges from the hosts, one of which saw Frédéric Brillant cautioned. As the game began to settle down, NYCFC found their rhythm, and it was Ismael Tajouri-Shradi that produced the first real chance of the game when his free-kick crashed against the crossbar in the 14th minute.
It was only one minute later that Ronny Deila’s men broke the deadlock thanks to a sweeping counter-attack. The move started when Jesus Medina produced a cute flick into the path of Moralez, and his pinpoint first-time pass found Anton Tinnerholm in acres of space down the right-hand side.
The Swede kept his composure as he entered the penalty area and squared the ball to the back post towards Taty Castellanos, who bundled it home. In the 25th minute, the hosts produced their first chance of note when the ball fell to Russell Canouse on the edge of the box - his effort zipping comfortably wide of Sean Johnson’s posts.
Next, it was the turn of Erik Sorga to sting the palms of Johnson as United began to foster some momentum. That pressure finally told in the 39th minute when Brendan Hines-Ike produced an impressive drive from range that flew past Johnson in goal.
The hosts had a second before half-time when a well-worked corner routine saw Julian Gressel clip a ball to Canouse on the edge of the box - his side-foot finish ending up in the bottom corner.
The arrival of the second half saw no changes from either side, but a greater sense of adventure from Tinnerholm. The 30-year-old embarked on several rampaging runs in the early stages of the second period.
NYCFC started to have more of the ball but were left frustrated by one touch too many spoiling the opportunity. In the 69th minute, a quick exchange between Keaton Parks, Castellanos, and Medina saw the Paraguayan drive a shot just went over the bar.
Deila then turned to his bench with a triple substitution in the 71st minute that saw three MLS debuts as Andres Jasson, Alfredo Morales, and Malte Amundsen entered the field in place of Gudmundur Thórarinsson, Alex Callens, and Tajouri-Shradi. The intensity of the game was steadily rising, and in the 74th minute, Castellanos collected a yellow card after a clash with Júnior Moreno.
That was followed by an early chance for Amundsen to impress after the ball skipped up to him on the edge of the area - his effort, unfortunately, lacking precision.
The yellow card count continued to climb, first when Gressel collected a caution in the 77th minute, and then again in the 82nd minute when Tinnerholm was guilty of dissent.
The game finished 2-1 to D.C. United and forced NYCFC to suffer defeat during their season opener.
Heineken Man of the Match
How We Lined Up
New York City FC take on FC Cincinnati in their home opener at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, April 24 with kickoff taking place at 1:00PM ET (Yes Network / NYCFC.com/Radio).