Houston Goals: Fuenmayor 21', Martinez 69', Elis 80'
NYCFC Goals: Villa 6'
New York City FC fell to a first defeat to the Houston Dynamo on Friday night at the BBVA Compass Stadium.
David Villa had given City the perfect start with a well-taken volley on 6' before Houston rallied and turned the scoreline around with goals on either side of the break from Alejandro Fuenmayor and Tomas Martinez.
Alberth Elis ended NYCFC's resistance with a tap-in with 10' to go after the visitors were caught up the field pressing for an equalizer.
That 3-1 defeat leaves NYCFC with a 7-3-3 record through 13 games.
NYCFC arrived in Texas with three points on their mind after winning 4-0 against the Colorado Rapids back in the Bronx last Sunday.
Head Coach Patrick Vieira made one change to his XI for this one, bringing back Anton Tinnerholm in place of Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, selecting three central defenders, including Alex Ring.
The Boys in Blue picked right up where they left off against Colorado at the BBVA Compass Stadium, taking the lead through David Villa, who notched his 405th career goal with his first shot on 6'.
It followed a cross from Maxi Moralez which was cleared only as far as El Guaje, who let rip first-time with a stunning, thunderous volley to the bottom corner.
That made it eight for the season, tying Villa at the top of the early MLS Golden Boot running.
The joy wouldn't last for long, as just a few minutes later, Yangel Herrera was on the end of a tough challenge and was subsequently stretchered off the field of play after a lengthy stoppage - Tommy McNamara came on to replace him.
Sean Johnson was then required to be at his very best in the following minutes - which he was: making two incredible saves to keep City's noses in front.
However, there was nothing Johnson could do on 21' when Houston equalized through Alejandro Fuenmayor's back post header from a Houston set piece.
1-1 was the scoreline which held until the half-time break of an entertaining, intense game.
After the interval, Johnson was the first of the goalkeepers called into action, making a solid near-post stop on 47' and another stunning rush to block at the striker's feet just before the hour.
Roared on by the home crowd, Houston came on strong in the final half an hour, turning the scoreline around on 68' as Tomas Martinez pounced on an errant pass out of the back, tapping home a simple finish.
The game was slipping through City's fingers behind this rally from the home side but Vieira's men found a second wind, aided by substitutes Jesus Medina and Tajouri-Shradi.
Berget and Villa both had opportunities but Houston punished New York on the break, with Elis tapping in on 79' on the rebound from yet another world class Johnson save.
3-1 was how it stayed, meaning City went down to a third defeat of the young campaign.
City showed great heart to get back into the game after the blow of conceding Martinez's go-ahead goal.
On 66', Berget had NYCFC's best chance after great combination play with Villa but was denied by Willis, just before Elis put the result beyond doubt at the second time of asking just a couple of minutes later.
A decisive period in the game, as it turned out.
NYCFC.com Star of the Game
A man who certainly did not deserve to be on the losing side was Sean Johnson.
Not for the first time in his NYCFC career, the goalkeeper was a one-man brick wall, standing on his head to deny Houston time and time again.
It wasn't enough to help his team to anything out of this one but Johnson can hold his head high, knowing he did all he could on the night.
Social Post of the Match…
Stats and Milestones
- Ronald Matarrita made his 50th appearance for NYCFC
- It was his 50th appearance in all competitions and 50th MLS appearance
- David Villa scored his eight goal of the season, tying him in the Golden Boot rankings
- It was NYCFC's first-ever defeat to the Houston Dynamo (W1 L1 D2)
How they lined up…
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Callens, Ibeagha, Ring, Matarrita (Medina 72'), Tinnerholm (Tajouri-Shradi 72'), Herrera (McNamara 14'), Ofori, Moralez, Berget, Villa (C)
SUBS: Stuver, Sweat, Hontondji, Wallace
New York City FC are back in the Bronx on June 2 when Orlando City provide the opposition for Pride Night at Yankee Stadium. Get your tickets below...