Defenders Maxime Chanot and Alexander Callens both scored their first goals for NYCFC to get the boys in blue back to winning ways at Yankee Stadium.
Down 1-0 to Philadelphia Union with ten minutes to play, it was a dramatic comeback from Patrick Vieira’s men which gave them a first win in three.
An often frustrating encounter against a staunch Union side, it was a deserved win on the balance of play and leaves NYCFC with a 7-5-3 record through 15.
That’s more like it!
With just one win in five games following a difficult stretch, getting the W was vital to ensure that the boys in blue went into the international break on a positive note.
Midfield skirmishes characterized the early exchanges until Maxi Moralez streaked clear on 11’, carrying the ball 30 meters before unleashing a shot that flew over the top of the bar.
Perhaps the Argentine magician could have gone on and taken the ball into the penalty box but he opted to shoot early and missed his mark with the best chance fashioned by either side in the opening 30’.
A lengthy stoppage further fractured an already-fragmented half of soccer as Maxime Chanot went down needing treatment but shortly after, NYCFC burst to life with a flurry of chances emanating from a cleared corner.
Alex Ring, returning from suspension, arrived onto the loose ball and hit the post with a thunderous drive before David Villa turned the rebound towards goal, forcing an excellent save from Andre Blake.
A panicked clearance took the ball out of harm’s way and Villa saw another shot well-saved by Blake in first half stoppage-time to leave NYCFC wondering how they were walking in goalless at the interval.
Ronald Matarrita made his long-awaited return from injury 15 minutes into the second period in an attacking role but it was Moralez who teed up Villa for the first meaningful opportunity of the second half on 67’, finding El Guaje who saw the crossbar deny him his 50th NYCFC goal.
A minute later, the home team were punished for their profligacy in front of goal, getting picked off by the visitors on the break via a clinical strike from Fafa Picault.
Chasing the game, Vieira threw on Sean Okoli to try and rescue the day and, a minute later, Blake once again defied the hosts with a double save from Villa and Ring following some mesmeric, slaloming running from the ever-excellent Harrison.
The mounting pressure finally told with ten minutes remaining when Chanot nodded in his first goal for NYCFC, rising highest at the near post to turn in a corner and to put an end to the rising frustration.
Any remaining ire was well and truly taken care of on 85’ when Callens reacted first to another set-piece, slotting home a rebound cooly to leave the home fans in ecstasy.
They did it the hard way and they’ve played better this season but it was the right result.
Just when it looked as though Philadelphia were going to hang on for a fortunate three points, there was Maxime Chanot.
One of the team’s most consistent performers this season, the Luxembourgian came through for his side once again when he found the long-awaited equalizer with a clever front post header on 80’.
That laid the foundations for his defensive partner Callens to get in on the act himself to give NYCFC their deserved victory.
Man of the Match...
Arguably NYCFC’s man of the season so far, Jack was his team’s most dangerous player again on this occasion, tying his opposition full-back in knots with his incisive, clever dribbling.
The Englishman just never seems to take the wrong option, his appreciation of space and when to go inside or out making him an explosive player to watch.
Social Post of the Game...
Stats and Milestones...
- NYCFC are now 7-5-3 for the 2017 season through 15 games
- Miguel Camargo made his second start for the club since joining on loan from Chorillo
- Ronald Matarrita returned to the field for the first time since NYCFC's 2-0 win over Philadelphia in April
- Maxime Chanot scored his first goal for the club
- Alexander Callens scored his first goal for the club
- NYCFC have won four of their last five games against Philadelphia Union
Vieira made two changes to the team which drew 2-2 with New England Revolution last time out.
Miguel Camargo and Alex Ring both came into the XI in place of Rodney Wallace and Mikey Lopez.
The rest of the lineup remained the same from midweek, with David Villa flanked by Jack Harrison and with Tommy McNamara and Maxi Moralez making up the midfield three alongside Ring.
At the back, Ben Sweat kept his place ahead of Ronald Matarrita who was fit enough for a place on the bench following his six-week injury layoff.
NYCFC take a weekend off next week for the international break before returning to action on June 14 for the US Open Cup fourth round clash at Red Bull Arena. We return to Yankee Stadium on Saturday June 17 when Seattle Sounders are our opponents on NYCFC Pride Day.