Inter Miami CF II: Perkovich 15', Valencia 48'
New York City Football Club II Goals: Denis 25'', Myers 53' PK, Jensen 70' (Own Goal)
NYCFC II secured a narrow win in their final regular season game of 2023. The hosts took the lead in the 15th minute through Miles Perkovich before John Denis restored parity in the 25th minute. The hosts would retake the lead early in the second half through substitute Felipe Valencia. That lead was canceled out five minutes later via a Matthew Myers spot kick. NYCFC would take the lead for the first time in the 70th minute when an effort from Denis rebounded off goalkeeper Cole Jensen. That was enough to confirm a 3-2 victory.
NYCFC II were in the Sunshine State on Decision Day as they took on Inter Miami CF II.
Head Coach Matthew Pilkington knew his side would need results elsewhere to go their way as they chased a place in the postseason, with forward Matthew Myers also in the hunt for the league's Golden Boot.
The Boys in Blue started the game well and that saw them establish an early rhythm on the ball. In their way stood a deep Miami line that was unwilling to give up space in the final third.
In the 9th minute, the first attempt of the game arrived as Myers was able to find space inside the box, but he could not beat the goalkeeper.
Against the run of play the hosts would take the lead in the 15th minute. Alexander Yagudayev was able to deny Bryan Destin's initial effort, but there was nothing he could do with Miles Perkovich's follow-up attempt.
In response, Myers pounced on a loose ball in the Miami defensive third before firing off a shot across the goal that only narrowly skipped by the left-hand post. NYCFC II could sense an equalizer was not far away and in the 25th minute, they restored parity.
The move started after Samuel Owusu intercepted a pass on the right flank. Some quick thinking saw him fire a pass inside to Myers who in turn squared it across for John Denis to convert from close range.
Momentum was now firmly with the Boys in Blue, and in the 34th minute, Myers came close to opening his account for the afternoon as Denis turned provider. Unfortunately, the forward was denied by the post.
NYCFC II would enjoy the final chance of the half as Maximo Carrizo fired a shot off from distance that was comfortably saved by the goalkeeper.
Pilkington opted to make one change at halftime, with Carrizo replaced by Jack Beer. The start of the second period also brought with it an early goal for the hosts as substitute Felipe Valencia fired in from a tight angle in the 48th minute.
NYCFC II were handed an opportunity to respond three minutes later after Myers was hauled down in the box. Stepping up with confidence, he slammed it home to take him to 19 goals for the season.
That goal would also provide an opportunity for more NYCFC II changes, as Piero Elias and Stevo Bednarsky replaced Rio Hope-Gund and Drew Baiera.
The substitute almost put his name on the scoresheet in the 63rd minute after he latched on to an Owusu knockdown and poked it toward goal - a fantastic reaction stop denying him a goal.
The game's fifth goal would arrive in the 70th minute via some beautiful team play from NYCFC II. The move began with a nice exchange of the ball between Beer and Jonathan Jiménez. That would let Jiménez embark on a run down the right before he back-heeled the ball into the path of the onrushing Denis - his effort rebounding off goalkeeper Cole Jensen and into the net.
Miami were now chasing the game for the first time. Their attempts to find an equalizer saw Derrek Martinez take a shot from outside the box, but his attempt was saved by Yagudayev.
Further changes for NYCFC II would come in the 83rd minute as Christian McFarlane and Denis departed in place of Jonny Lopez and Jacob Arroyave. The Boys in Blue were handed the chance to seal the victory deep in stoppage time after a lung-bursting run from Myers saw him felled in the box by Farid Sar-Sar - the defender subsequently dismissed for the foul.
Elias stepped up to take the kick and it was saved. That would bring to an end the chaotic contest and secure a victory for NYCFC II in their final regular season outing. Unfortunately, results elsewhere did not go their way meaning they narrowly missed out on a playoff spot.
How We Lined Up
This match concludes NYCFC II's 2023 schedule. Check back to nycfc.com for more updates on the team.
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