Chicago Goals: Nikolic 6', Katai 48' & 53'
NYCFC Goals: Tajouri-Shradi 36', Berget 40'
New York City FC's wait for a road win goes on after Chicago Fire edged a five-goal game at Toyota Park.
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Jo Inge Berget had put NYCFC in charge following their early concession but turnaround strikes from Aleksandar Katai early in the second half won the day for the hosts.
Negotiating his first road trip as Head Coach, Domènec Torrent made one enforced change to his lineup for this trip to a sweltering Windy City.
Jesus Medina came in for the injured David Villa as City went for their first away win in three tough months away from New York.
However, that quest got off to the worst-possible start as Dax McCarty cut through the center of the NYC defense with an incisive pass, allowing Nemanja Nikolic to streak clear and slot past Sean Johnson with the game’s first attempt on goal on 6.
As recently as Dome’s first game last weekend vs. Toronto, NYCFC have form for bouncing back from early set-backs, and Maxi Moralez thought he’d earned his side a penalty 15’ minutes later, when he went down under a challenge from a Chicago defender but the referee saw it differently.
A hydration break gave both sides an opportunity to regroup ahead of the final 15’ of the first period and regroup NYCFC did, reversing the deficit in double-quick time with a pair of beautiful goals.
First, Maxi Moralez found Tajouri-Shradi on the top of the box and the Libyan did the rest, slapping his shot with a devilish swerve away from the goalkeeper into the bottom corner.
That tied him with Villa for team top-scorer with eight goals in 2018, a fabulous return from the 24-year old in his first year in MLS.
Another first-year City man found the go-ahead goal, a towering header from Jo Inge Berget, which sent Anton Tinnerholm’s arcing cross back where it came from into the opposite corner of the net.
That was his fourth goal of the season and followed his brace in the Bronx last weekend.
Although the visitors were up at the break, you felt the scoring was far from over, and so it proved as Chicago hit back with two quickfire goals of their own, turning it back around within ten second half minutes.
Aleksandar Katai scored both, first curling one around Johnson from the edge of the box on 47’, before he restored Chicago’s lead on 53’ after he slalomed past Alexander Callens and fired in.
Another second wind was required and Maxi Moralez did his best to provide the spark, spearheading a resurgence around the 60’ mark, forcing Richard Sanchez into a couple of smart saves.
Berget was inches away from equalizing with his second goal of the night but his header from a Moralez cross came back off the underside of the crossbar and away from danger.
City kept pushing and substitute Jonathan Lewis almost brought a Medina flick-on under the bar on 84’ but the equalizer just wouldn’t come despite the late push.
The Boys in Blue will lick their wounds and quickly turn focus to the Hudson River Derby next up Yankee Stadium.
NYCFC.com Star of the Game
Jo Inge Berget
For the second-successive week, we go with Jo Inge Berget, who scored his first road goal for the Boys in Blue and looked dangerous throughout.
Buoyed by his two goals vs. Toronto, the Norwegian look full of confidence and was closer than anyone to finding that elusive equalizer with his thunderous header off the crossbar late on.
Social Post of the Match…
Stats and Milestones
- Domènec Torrent led NYCFC on the road for the first time
- Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored his eighth goal of the season
- That tied him with David Villa for NYCFC's top-scorer for 2018
- Jo Inge Berget scored his third goal in two games and fourth of the campaign
- Anton Tinnerholm completed his second direct assist of the season
- Maxi Moralez made his eighth assist of the year
How they lined up…
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Callens, Ibeagha, Sweat (Lewis 76'), Tinnerholm, Ring, Ofori, Medina (McNamara 90') Moralez, Tajouri-Shradi, Berget
SUBS: Stuver, Chanot, Abdul-Salaam, Awuah, Sands
We return home on July 8 for the Hudson River Derby vol.2... Get your tickets at NYCFC.com/Tickets.