NYCFC Goals: Tajouri-Shradi 12', Moralez 30', Berget 41', Ofori 70'
New York City FC continued their incredible start to Season Four with a resounding 4-0 victory over Real Salt Lake.
Goals from Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Maxi Moralez and Jo Inge Berget put the Boys in Blue 3-0 up at half-time, before Ebenezer Ofori netted his first goal for the Club on 70' to complete the scoring.
At home, on the road, Everywhere We Go…
NYCFC picked up right where they left off against San Jose Earthquakes before the bye weekend in the first midweek match of 2018.
This promised to be a stern examination of City’s early season credentials as they faced off against a Real Salt Lake team buoyed by their win over in-form Vancouver Whitecaps last time out.
With Head Coach Patrick Vieira able to call upon fit-again Ronald Matarrita, as well as Alex Ring and David Villa, who were back on the bench, there were plenty of reasons to be cheerful even before a ball was kicked in this first game in the Bronx for 31 days.
A strong start was sought and that’s exactly what was delivered, courtesy of Ismael Tajouri-Shradi’s brilliant sidefooted finish which found the upper 90 with just 12’ on the board.
Anton Tinnerholm created it with his overlapping run down the right which was cut out but only as far as Isi who made it four goals in as many games for the new boy.
Matarrita almost marked his return with a goal of the season contender but his volley which had goalkeeper Nick Rimando grasping at thin air thundered back off the crossbar.
Any disappointment wouldn’t linger for long, as on 30’, the Boys in Blue roared into a two-goal lead.
This time, it was Maxi Moralez who helped himself to his fourth goal of the season from the penalty spot after he was felled just inside the box.
Vieira’s men weren’t finished there in the first half, but this time it was a new hero who announced themselves to the Bronx faithful.
Jo Inge Berget celebrated his home debut in style, racing onto Jesus Medina’s sublime through ball and finishing clinically into the bottom corner for his first goal for NYCFC.
The game all but over at the halfway stage, RSL wouldn’t have been happy to see Ring and Villa both introduced as substitutes with plenty of time remaining in the night.
Alex and David both got 30 minutes in the legs ahead of Sunday’s trip to Atlanta United as NYCFC played out the game in relative comfort, celebrating one more time when Ebenezer Ofori opened his account on 70', tapping home from Maxi Moralez's clever pass.
The perfect night.
In his pre-game interview, Vieira spoke of the importance of a strong start to keep up the positive momentum NYCFC have enjoyed in these early weeks of the season.
He got exactly what he wanted, with Isi’s stunning goal laying the foundations for another happy home encounter for the Bronx Blues.
NYCFC.com Star of the Game…
The Costa Rican full-back has endured a rough time with injuries in the last 12 months but he reminded everyone of his quality on his first start of 2018.
Cracking the crossbar with an unbelievable volley was the standout moment but he was heavily involved throughout, helping to create the third goal eventually finished off by Berget.
His World Cup dream is alive and well.
Social Post of the Match…
Stats and Milestones
- NYCFC continued their best-ever start to an MLS season (P6 W5 L0 D1)
- Tajouri-Shradi scored his fourth goal for NYCFC
- Maxi Moralez scored his fourth goal of the 2018 season
- Sean Johnson earned his third clean sheet of 2018 - no other MLS goalkeeper has more.
- Jo Inge Berget scored his first NYCFC goal on his home debut
- Ebenezer Ofori scored his first NYCFC goal
- David Villa returned for his first minutes in a month
- Alexander Callens' record of playing every single Regular Season minute since 2017 came to an end as he was substituted on 75'
How They Lined Up…
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Tinnerholm, Chanot (C), Callens (Ibeagha 75'), Matarrita, Ofori, Herrera, Moralez, Tajouri-Shradi (Ring 65'), Berget (Villa 59'), Medina
SUBS: Stuver, Sweat, McNamara, Wallace
NYCFC travels to Atlanta United for this weekend's match. Join us in Brooklyn at the Rookery on Sunday evening for the official Watch Party (6pm kick-off).