NYCFC – 2
Portland Timbers – 1
Match recap …
David Villa and Tommy McNamara scored in each half to lift New York City FC to a 2-1 win against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park Sunday night.
With their third consecutive win, and fourth game without a loss, NYCFC (4-3-4) moved into a first-place tie in the Eastern Conference with the Montreal Impact. Portland (3-6-3) dropped its third straight game.
After absorbing pressure in the opening moments, NYCFC jumped in front, 1-0, on Villa’s eighth goal of the season, tying him with Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco for most in MLS.
RJ Allen dispossessed Darlington Nagbe and threaded a sublime through ball to Villa, who took a touch before slotting the ball inside the far post from 12 yards out in the 12th minute.
Fanendo Adi leveled with his eighth goal of the year from 15 yards in the 55th minute.
But McNamara responded 10 minutes later with his third goal of the year, a wonder strike into the upper right corner of the net from 25 yards out. Khiry Shelton started the sequence with a cross from the corner flag to Andrea Pirlo, who settled the ball and slipped it to McNamara.
The goal came immediately after a spectacular saving tackle from Ronald Matarrita on Lucas Melano.
Jason Hernandez was a big reason why Portland was kept off the scoreboard in the first half, bravely diving to block a Diego Valeri shot after Josh Saunders came off his line to challenge.
After blocking another Valeri shot in the 16th minute following an Adi layoff , Hernandez came up with a well-timed slide tackle after Adi pulled off his jersey in the 39th minute.
Two minutes into the second half, Saunders made a spectacular save, diving to his right to get a fingertip on a Nagbe attempt from 12 yards.
Photo of the Match...
How they lined up …
NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira made one change to his side that defeated D.C. United, 2-0, last Sunday, bringing Mix Diskerud in for Federico Bravo, who is serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation.
Diskerud moved alongside Andrea Pirlo, with Mikey Lopez slotting back in Bravo’s role in Vieira’s preferred 4-3-3.
Vieira brought on Mehdi Ballouchy to replace Diskerud for his first substitution in the 74th minute. It was his first appearance since coming on as a late substitute in a 1-1 draw against New England on March 26.
In the 83rd minute, Ethan White came on for McNamara as Vieira switched to five in the back. Andoni Iraola replaced Pirlo in the 90th minute for Vieira’s final change.
Key moment …
With the score knotted at one, McNamara provided the seminal moment with a stunning strike from 25 yards out that landed in the upper right corner of the net to give NYCFC a 2-1 lead in the 65th minute. McNamara took a quick pass from Pirlo and curled a looping shot past Gleeson for what proved to be the winner.
Man of the Match …
The NYCFC defender registered a critical block in the opening minutes of the match to help prevent an early goal. Hernandez was also involved in a strange play where he had his shirt stripped but was able to block a Timber shot and helped NYCFC secure their third consecutive win.
Stats and milestones …
- Josh Saunders made his 100th career start.
- It was NYCFC’s first match (and win) in Portland.
- David Villa now has four goals in his last three matches.
- NYCFC joins Toronto FC as the only two teams with three wins away from home.
Quote of the Match...
What it means …
NYCFC picked up a third consecutive win, second straight away from home, and moved into a first-place tie in the Eastern Conference with the Montreal Impact on 16 points. NYCFC will look continue its hot play Wednesday night when they take on Toronto FC at BMO Field before hosting the New York Red Bulls Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
Tweet of the Match...
.@RJallen21 is beast mode today— Hater Davis (@SoccerSenor) May 16, 2016