Philadelphia Union Goals: Fabian 87'
NYCFC Goals: Matarrita 7’, Tajouri-Shradi 22’
Two first half goals from Ronald Matarrita and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi were enough to see the Boys in Blue wrap up the season on a high note with a 2-1 win over Philadelphia Union. In the regular season finale, NYCFC won an 18th match of 2019 to build momentum going into the playoffs.
New York City FC traveled to Talen Energy Stadium for the final regular-season game of Season 5 with the first seed already in hand.
Despite the fact that first place was already assured, Dome Torrent named a strong starting XI which initially showed seven changes from the heavily-rotated lineup which faced New England last time out.
A late change after the warm-ups saw Matarrita take Héber's place in the lineup and the Costa Rican made his presence known early, opening the scoring on 7'.
Ben Sweat, who was playing in Matarrita’s normal left back position, brought the ball forward and crossed it into the box to Taty Castellanos.
Taty lay the ball off beautifully for Matarrita, who put the finishing touch on it for the first goal of the night and his first goal of the season.
Castellanos was at it again in the 22nd minute of the match, when he was able to find Ismael Tajouri-Shradi in the outside corner of the box.
The Libyan cut inside from the wing and his ball into the box took a heavy deflection off a defender curled out of Andre Blake's reach and into the net.
As expected, Philadelphia came on strong in their attempt to secure the second seed in the East but City’s defensive line was in form throughout the night and were able to keep them at bay with a combination of last ditch tackles, Sean Johnson saves and one inspired piece of defending from Anton Tinnerholm in front of his own goal.
The Boys in Blue held out until the closing minutes when Fabian scored a late penalty off an Ebenezer Ofori handball but it was New York City FC who secured all three points to go out on top.
Playoffs, here we come.
NYCFC.com Man of the Match
The midfielder was back in action with the Boys in Blue and he was a force to be reckoned with. He was up and down the field putting out fires and keeping the ball moving for NYC all night.
How We Lined Up
NYCFC XI | Johnson, Tinnerholm, Chanot, Callens, Sweat, Ring (C), Ofori, Moralez, Tajouri-Shradi, Castellanos, Matarrita
Subs | Stuver, Ibeagha, Sands, Rocha, Medina, Mackay-Steven
Your Boys in Blue are marching into the playoffs, after a first round-bye, we'll be hosting the number four or five seed on October 23 or 24. Stay tuned to NYCFC.com for more information on our opponent and time/date.