NYCFC Goals: Tajouri-Shradi 62', Moralez 73'
A Quick Look
New York City FC maintained their 100% record through three games thanks to a 2-0 win over Orlando City SC.
Celebrating St Patrick’s Day in style, the Boys in Blue came away with another three points thanks to second half goals from Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Maxi Moralez.
Three out of three…
NYCFC kept up their perfect start to 2018 with a comfortable 2-0 win over Orlando City at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Unfortunately, this game came too soon for Anton Tinnerholm and David Villa, who both sat out with mild injuries, while Jo Inge Berget will have to remain patient in waiting for his NYCFC debut after he was taken ill with the flu on the night before the match.
That gave Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Saad Abdul-Salaam their first City starts, while Maxime Chanot returned from suspension to partner up with Alexander Callens at the back.
Orlando arrived late due to the St Patrick’s Day parade traffic so it was an understandably low-key opening to the match with both sides taking some time to settle into their flow on a sunny March day in the Bronx.
The first sight of goal arrived on 32’ when the visitors broke from a turnover but Sean Johnson was there to make a comfortable save down to his right from Justin Meram.
A minute later, City were a lick of paint away from taking the lead themselves courtesy of Rodney Wallace’s towering header from a Maxi Moralez serve, but the ball came back off the inside of the post with Joe Bendik beaten all ends up.
Those were the two spikes in an otherwise strangely subdued opening 45’ in the BX but the second half promised to be more dramatic with three points on the line.
Meram once again had the first chance of the half after wriggling clear down the right channel but, although Johnson was scrambling, the former Columbus man dragged his effort wide.
A minute later, NYCFC had their best chance of the afternoon so far, when Medina played in Moralez but, like Meram before him, the Argentine failed to pick out the far corner of the net, pulling his shot a foot past the far post.
When the first goal arrived on 62’, it came courtesy of a moment of indecision from the Orlando backline as Bendik passed the ball straight to Tajouri-Shradi.
A less composed forward may shot straightaway, but the Libyan had the presence of mind to take a touch to improve his angle, before slotting it clinically past the goalkeeper.
Just ten minutes on, it got even better for City, as Moralez bagged his second of the campaign after some delightful interplay.
Debutant Abdul-Salaam carried the charge into the area and found Medina who touched it back to Moralez who struck first time into the bottom corner, capping a devastating three-point move.
Orlando did have one chance to hit back late in the game but Johnson hit the underside of the bar with his powerful effort, summing up their afternoon.
The only downside on an otherwise perfect day for the home side was the sight of Ronald Matarrita leaving the field with an injury on 72'.
Now it’s on to New England where NYCFC hope to make it four from four to further improve the team’s best-ever MLS start.
It was a tepid first half from both sides, with clashes of heads and lengthy stoppages characterizing a slow, disjointed 45’.
However, NYCFC clicked into gear in the second period and deservedly took the lead on 63’ when Bendik fumbled his clearance.
Tajouri-Shradi was there to benefit, putting NYCFC into a lead which they never looked like surrendering.
NYCFC.com Star of the Game
The Argentine was given a (deserved) huge ovation when he was withdrawn late in the game after another excellent performance.
Scoring his second goal of the season only told half the story as the diminutive playmaker pulled the strings for his team throughout the game.
At the heart of all of City’s best moves, Moralez just edges out Medina for the NYCFC.com award.
Social Post of the Match
- Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Saad Abdul-Salaam both made their first NYCFC starts
- It was Abdul-Salaam's first-ever appearance for the Boys in Blue
- Tajouri-Shradi scored his first goal for the club
- Maxi Moralez scored his second goal of the season
- Jesus Medina has either assisted or scored in each of his three NYCFC appearances
- NYCFC's record vs. Orlando now stands at 3-3-5
- Alexander Callens has still played every minute of every Regular Season game since he joined NYCFC in 2017
- RJ Allen started for Orlando City for the first time on his first return to NYCFC
How We Lined Up
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Abdul-Salaam, Callens, Chanot, Sweat, Ring, Herrera, Moralez (Awuah 88'), Medina, Wallace, Tajouri-Shradi (Matarrita 66') (McNamara 72')
Subs: Stuver, Ibeagha, Ofori, Lewis
NYCFC travels to New England Revolution for the fourth game of the MLS season on Saturday. Kick-off is at 1.30pm.