New York City FC Goals: Castellanos 21’, 45+1'
Inter Miami CF Goals:
New York City FC were back in MLS action on Saturday as they took on Inter Miami CF at Red Bull Arena. NYCFC took a first half lead after Maxi Moralez found Taty Castellanos free in the penalty box to head home. The forward would add a second from the penalty spot just before halftime. That brace helped secure a 2-0 win and three points for NYCFC.
New York City FC were looking to stretch their unbeaten run in MLS to six games on Saturday night as Inter Miami CF stood in the way.
Head Coach Ronny Deila made six changes to the team that faced off against Pumas UNAM midweek, including returns for Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Alfredo Morales and Maxime Chanot.
The visitors would register the first major chance of the game from a set piece, with winger Lewis Morgan stinging the palms of Sean Johnson.
It would be the home side that struck the opener in the 21st minute, however, after a beautiful flowing move found Maxi Moralez on the right hand side.
The veteran playmaker floated an inch-perfect cross to the back post and the head of Taty Castellanos who powered a header home.
Miami thought they had a great chance to equalize just moments later when Gonzalo Higuaín ran through on goal, but the forward was eventually flagged offside.
A pattern quickly emerged in the game, with Phil Neville’s men focusing their play down the right in order to get Morgan on the ball, but he struggled to get the better of Malte Amundsen.
At the other end Castellanos had an excellent opportunity to add a second after closing down a loose ball put him through on goal.
The forward did brilliantly to run through and shake the attention of Nicolás Figal, but his finish trickled just past the right-hand post.
As the half progressed the Boys in Blue grew in confidence and their coordinated high press was forcing Miami to concede possession in dangerous areas.
The reward for that would come just before halftime after a quick throw from Amundsen down the left allowed Moralez to chip a pass into the path of Thiago.
After settling himself the Brazilian fired a shot that was blocked by the hand of a Miami defender – referee Alan Kelly showing no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
In search of more goals Castellanos stepped up to take the spot kick, and confirmed his fifth in six games thanks to a cheeky Panenka down the middle of Nick Marsman’s goal.
The start of the second half brought with it a change for NYCFC as Gudi Thórarinsson entered in place of Amundsen.
In the 65th minute, a home corner bounced out to Anton Tinnerholm, but his effort did not hit the target.
Further changes would arrive in the 68th minute as Thiago and Tajouri-Shradi departed the field in place of Santíago Rodriguez and Jesús Medina.
At the other end, Morgan was still proving a threat for Miami and seconds later he lashed a low effort at goal that was brilliantly tipped wide by Johnson.
In response, Castellanos connected with a header from a Thórarinsson cross, but it ended up being comfortable for Marsman.
Talles Magno was the next player to sub in for Moralez in the 76th minute as NYCFC continued their hunt for a third. Castellanos was almost the man to give it to them after beating Marsman to a 50-50 ball, but his lobbed effort went just narrowly wide.
That would be the forward’s final act as he was subbed for Andres Jasson in the 86th minute. No goals would follow and that secured NYCFC a 2-0 win and a big three points as they chase top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Heineken Man of the Match
Next up for New York City FC is a meeting with Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park on Wednesday, August 18. Kickoff scheduled for 7:30PM ET (YES App/NYCFC.com/Radio).