DC United Goals: Sam 52mins, Acosta 72mins
NYCFC Goals: Villa 83mins
NYCFC succumbed to a second defeat of the 2017 season as DC United took revenge with a 2-1 victory.
David Villa’s 83rd minute goal briefly gave his team hope of a dramatic late comeback after Lloyd Sam and Luciano Acosta’s second half strikes but it wasn’t to be, despite the late pressure from the boys in blue.
It was a quick, month-long turnaround between meetings for DC United and NYCFC when they resumed rivalries at RFK Stadium on a sun-kissed Washington afternoon.
Stung by the 4-0 defeat handed out by Patrick Vieira’s men at Yankee Stadium in March, Ben Olsen’s side warmed to the task the quicker and enjoyed some early pressure on Sean Johnson’s goal.
However, it was the visitors who went closest to opening the scoring on 15’ when Rodney Wallace would have scored his second goal against DC this season if his deflected strike from the edge of the box had bounced inside the post rather than the opposite side.
Possibly fearing another four-goal blitz, the hosts sat back and invited NYCFC to try and break them down in a tight first half period characterized by midfield skirmishing and few clear chances on goal.
There was one more moment of concern for Bill Hamid in the first half on 43’ when Maxime Chanot played a beautiful ball in behind the opposition defense and David Villa clipped in a cross which was met by the head of Maxi Moralez but the DC ‘keeper gathered.
NYCFC had grown into the first half nicely but it was the home team who broke the deadlock on 52’ when Lloyd Sam capitalized on a defensive mixup and slotted past the onrushing Johnson.
Chasing the game, last week’s hero Tommy McNamara was the first man of the bench, replacing Wallace and he almost came up with the goods immediately after his introduction, forcing Hamid into a good stop with a curling strike from the angle of the box.
As NYCFC continued to pile forward, DC struck again against the run of play on 72’ through Acosta, who reacted quickest when Johnson was unfortunate to see his brilliant save from Sam’s snapshot land at the feet of the diminutive Argentine for the tap-in.
Khiry Shelton was sent on by Vieira to try and spark the fightback and Jack Harrison went close to pulling his team back within a goal on 81’ when he pounced on a Hamid spill from a Villa shot found the body of the goalkeeper.
Two minutes later, it was 2-1 when Villa’s third goal of the season ignited hopes of a late comeback.
El Guaje produced a typically clinical finish on the turn inside the area after some great wing play from McNamara teed him up.
The boys in blue ramped up the pressure in the closing minutes but couldn’t find a way through a stoic home backline.
When DC drew first blood, it was a frustrating moment for Vieira’s men as the goal was avoidable.
Brillant was dispossessed by Sam and the striker drove on towards goal and was unerring with his low strike beyond Johnson.
NYCFC were on top, dominating the game, meaning this goal allowed DC to retreat even further and stay compact to hold out for the win.
Man of the Match…
On what was an off day for NYCFC, Tommy McNamara once again made his impact felt off the bench.
The New Yorker made the goal for David Villa and almost scored one himself in an influential cameo, doing his hopes of starting at Philadelphia on Friday no harm whatsoever.
Social Post of the Match...
Stats and Milestones…
- This was NYCFC’s final MLS Regular Season game against DC United at RFK Stadium
- Frederic Brillant made his first start of the 2017 season
- Miguel Camargo made his NYCFC debut off the bench
- David Villa scored his third MLS goal of the year
- Lloyd Sam scored his first goal of the season for DC United.
- NYCFC are still yet to take a point on the road in 2017
How They Lined Up...
Brillant made his first start of 2017 at RFK Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The French defender came in as the only change to the XI which started the last three games, replacing Ethan White.
NYCFC lined up with three at the back for the first time this season, with Brillant starting alongside Etihad Player of the Month Alexander Callens and Luxembourg international Maxime Chanot.
Jack Harrison and Ronald Matarrita provided the width as wing-backs, while Andrea Pirlo and Alex Ring anchored the midfield, with Rodney Wallace and Maxi Moralez in behind David Villa at the tip of the field.
NYCFC stay on the road for their next engagement, taking on Philadelphia Union on Friday night at Talen Energy Field at 7pm ET.