New York City Football Club II Goals: Jiménez 36', Myers 69'
Philadelphia Union II Goals:
NYCFC II secured a vital win on Sunday as they took on Philadelphia Union II. A first half goal from Jonathan Jiménez in the 36th minute gave the Boys in Blue the lead. That advantage was doubled in the 69th minute after a poacher's finish from Matt Myers. That would prove enough to confirm a 2-0 success for the Boys in Blue as they continue to pursue a spot in the playoffs.
A sunny evening in Queens was the setting as NYCFC II hosted Philadelphia Union II at Belson Stadium.
The Boys in Blue are still in the hunt for a playoff spot and knew three points on Sunday would close the gap between themselves and Chicago Fire II
Head Coach Matt Pilkington made five changes to the team that faced FC Cincinnati 2 last time out, with Justin Haak and Kevin O’Toole slotting into the back line. Elsewhere, Maximo Carrizo and Jonathan Shore came in to form a midfield trio with Samuel Owusu, while John Denis replaced Ronny Arévalo to round out the changes.
The Boys in Blue wasted no time in chasing the opening goal – Denis firing a shot off inside the first sixty seconds that was comfortably saved.
Philadelphia were quick to respond with a chance of their own in the sixth minute. Nelson Pierre found himself free inside the penalty area, but couldn’t keep his effort on target.
The two teams were now exchanging chances, and Matt Myers was the next man to try and break the deadlock in the 9th minute with an effort from close range that was well saved.
NYCFC II were now growing in momentum and testing the resolve of the visiting backline. Denis registered two attempts in the space of 60 seconds that Andrew Rick saved.
The pressure would finally tell in the 36th minute. Relentless pressing from Myers won the ball back on halfway. Carrizo would return the ball to Myers, and after a driving run toward the goal he played in Jiménez to calmly slot it past the goalkeeper.
The Union II came close to an equalizer on the stroke of half time after Hugo Le Guennec headed an effort toward goal, but he was unable to keep it on target and that allowed the hosts to finish the first half a goal up.
The second period brought with it no changes for NYCFC II. Meanwhile, Philadelphia made two changes, and were keen to capitalize on the momentum they cultivated toward the end of the first half.
In the 61st minute, O'Toole produced NYCFC II's first shot of the half after he drove an effort from outside the box that was well saved. Three minutes later it was the turn of Myers to try and test the goalkeeper, but he was unable to keep it on target.
The striker would get his goal in the 69th minute after good play by O'Toole and Shore saw the latter flash an effort across goal that Rick could not hold onto. Ready to pounced on the rebound was Myers in the same week he was named MLS Next Pro Player of the Month.
Pilkington decided to turn to his bench in the wake of the goal to introduce Ronny Arévalo and Piero Elias in place of Denis and Carrizo. Arévalo wasted no time in getting involved and found Stephen Turnbull with a cross, but his header was unable to beat Rick in goal.
Five minutes later, Arévalo tried to add his name to the scoresheet, but he could not keep his effort on target. NYCFC II were now firmly in control of the contest, and in the 89th minute Myers went searching for a second goal of the night, but he could only force Rick into a good save low down to the left.
Deep into injury time Pilkington turned to his bench again to introduce David Duque for his NYCFC II debut in place of Shore. That would be the last major act of the contest and confirm a huge 2-0 victory for NYCFC II over Philadelphia Union II.
How We Lined Up
Next up for NYCFC II is a meeting with Columbus Crew 2 on Friday, September 8, 2023. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm ET at Historic Crew Stadium.
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