New York City Football Club Goals: Keaton Parks 11', Maxime Chanot 25'
Nashville SC Goals: Hany Mukhtar 81'
New York City Football Club stormed back to winning ways with a hard-fought 2-1 home victory over Nashville SC, thanks to first-half goals from Keaton Parks and Maxime Chanot. Hany Mukhtar reduced the deficit late on at Citi Field but despite late pressure from the visitors, Nick Cushing’s side held on to claim a first triumph over the Tennessee outfit, and extend our impressive run on home soil.
The two sides locked horns for the second time in 2023, having met in the season opener at GEODIS Park. February’s clash had marked only the third encounter between the pair, with The Music heading into this contest unbeaten.
Head Coach Cushing made two changes from the NYCFC side that drew 1-1 with Atlanta United last time out, as Richy Ledezma earned his first MLS start, while Gabriel Pereira returned to the XI, in place of Santiago Rodríguez and the suspended Matías Pellegrini.
Facing the league’s meanest defense with Nashville having recorded five clean sheets in 2023, the Boys in Blue knew they would have to be clinical with chances potentially at a premium.
The City Boys came flying out of the blocks in Queens, and broke the deadlock after just 11 minutes of play. The hosts had already found plenty of joy down the right, and unlocked the NSC defense through Parks' first goal of the season, courtesy of Mitja Ilenič's second assist in as many games.
The Slovenian latched onto Talles Magno's cutback, and whipped in another pinpoint cross for Parks to power a header home – a moment fittingly celebrated with a heartwarming tribute to the recent news of he and wife Kat's first baby.
The visitors responded well, rallying in search of an instant leveler. Last season’s Golden Boot winner Mukhtar stung the palms of Luis Barraza, while the City shot-stopper also denied Fafà Picault, and Aníbal Godoy fired wide.
Heeding the warning, the home side regained control, and doubled the advantage midway through the first half via a set-piece, as Ledezma celebrated his first start with an assist, swinging a corner to the six-yard box where Chanot adjusted well to smash a sweetly-struck volley past Joe Willis.
With the defender's fine finish, the Boys in Blue became the first side to have netted two goals against Nashville this season.
Full of confidence, the City Boys went in search of a third. Gabe Segal and Ledezma fired straight at Willis, before Parks curled over, while Barraza produced an excellent low stop to thwart Mukhtar once more at the other end.
The early exchanges of the second period were played at an electric pace with chances for both sides – Sean Davies and Ledezma both aiming off-target within the first two minutes.
Talles Magno proved a constant threat, with Ilenič and Pereira also going close, while substitute Rodríguez came inches away from announcing his arrival with a goal, after Barraza had done well to gather a C.J. Sapong strike.
The City 'keeper continued to impress, and was equal to Daniel Lovitz's curling attempt. The rebound was converted by Shaq Moore, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Nashville would claw themselves back into the game however, with nine minutes of normal time left on the clock, when Mukhtar collected Lovitz's pass, and drilled in low from the edge of the box to set up a tense finale.
Moore then blazed over, as the away side piled on the pressure, but NYCFC held firm for the points, maintaining our unbeaten home record in 2023.
Star of the Match
How We Lined Up
NYCFC are back on home soil next weekend for the last match of our three-game home stand.
The Boys in Blue welcome FC Dallas to Citi Field on Saturday, April 22 in a 7:30pm ET kick-off.
Tickets for the game are now available. Don't miss your chance to cheer on the City Boys!
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