NYCFC Goals: Villa 18mins, Wallace 60mins, Moralez 62mins
Atlanta Goals: Carmona 38mins
A Quick Look…
New York City FC celebrated Family Day in style in front of 25,605 fans thanks to a thrilling 3-1 victory over Atlanta United.
David Villa, Rodney Wallace and Maxi Moralez shared the goals in a devastating display of incisive attacking football which improved NYCFC to a 5-3-1 record through nine games.
It was billed as an intriguing clash of styles between two of the league’s great entertainers in the buildup and it did not disappoint for a second, with chances for both sides in the early minutes.
It was the boys in blue who first went close to drawing first blood when Maxime Chanot turned the loose ball from a corner towards goal on 8’ but Alec Kann made the sprawling save.
In an entertaining end-to-end opening to the game with plenty of quality on show from both sides but, predictably, it was the captain who broke the deadlock, celebrating his new contract extension in typically potent style.
With a goal that was reminiscent of his first-ever for NYCFC, Villa exchanged passes with Rodney Wallace following some nimble interplay and planted the ball beyond Kann, firing in off the inside of the post.
Despite a dominant opening half where the home team spent long stretches camped out in the Atlanta defensive third, Carlos Carmona found the equalizer against the run of play on 38’ with a rocket of his own – a stinging volley in off the woodwork from the top of the box.
NYCFC gave a good response to that concession, almost retaking the lead in the last seconds of the first period through Alexander Callens but his curling effort narrowly missed the outside of the post, meaning we went in at the break level.
To say Vieira’s men made a fast start to the second period would be an understatement as, within a minute of the restart, Wallace and Villa shared a flurry of three quickfire shots which either hit the woodwork or were blocked on line in a crazy goalmouth scramble.
Wallace atoned for those missed chances in some style on 60’ when he arrived at the back post to turn in a cross from Ethan White who had overlapped to great effect on the right flank.
Back in front, NYCFC would not be brought back again by Gerardo Martino’s talented side, scoring the vital third goal through Maxi Moralez just a minute later.
It was Wallace who turned provider this time, flicking the ball beautifully into Maxi’s path to create the one-on-one and Moralez’s finish was unerring, curling it around the onrushing goalkeeper.
Finally, Vieira’s men had the advantage their play had merited and they didn’t let it slip, climbing to third place in the Eastern Conference.
Wallace would have been ruing the flurry of missed opportunities a minute into the second half but he made sure that it didn’t come back to bite his team by restoring the advantage on the hour mark.
Whether he meant his backheeled finish from White’s cross, only he’ll know, but he certainly meant his assist for Maxi Moralez’s strike which made it 3-1 a minute later.
Two decisive contributions from the Costa Rican international.
Man of the Match…
Returning from the illness which kept him out of the Columbus victory, the skipper certainly made his presence felt.
Not only did he open the scoring with a glorious strike, he was a constant menace to the Atlanta backline and also tracked back tirelessly to help his teammates on the other side of the ball.
Social Post of the Game…
Stats and Milestones…
- Yangel Herrera and Ben Sweat started their first games at Yankee Stadium.
- David Villa scored his 47th goal for NYCFC – his sixth of the season.
- Ethan White contributed his first assist of 2017.
- Rodney Wallace scored his third goal for NYCFC – all have come at Yankee Stadium.
- Maxi Moralez scored his second goal for the team.
- Kwame Awuah made his competitive debut for the team he joined in the SuperDraft.
How They Lined Up…
NYCFC XI: Johnson, White, Chanot, Callens, Sweat, Ring, Herrera, Moralez, Harrison, Wallace, Villa (C)
NYCFC Subs: Johansen, Awuah, Brillant, Pirlo, Camargo, Stertzer, Okoli
Head Coach Patrick Vieira made one change to the XI which started the 3-2 comeback win over Columbus Crew last weekend.
The Frenchman has brought back well-again David Villa in the week the Spanish sensation signed a new one-year contract extension.
Yangel Herrera, who scored and assisted in Ohio, was preferred to Andrea Pirlo in the Venezuelan’s final NYCFC engagement before the U20 World Cup.
Ben Sweat kept his place at left-back alongside Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot and Ethan White, while Alex Ring and Maxi Moralez joined Herrera in the center of midfield.
NYCFC kick off a long stretch on the road with a trip to FC Dallas on Sunday May 14 at 8pm ET. Vieira’s men return to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday May 31 when New England Revolution come to town.