New England Goals: Wright 70'
A depleted New York City Football Club went down to a first home defeat of 2018 at the hands of an opportunistic New England side on Wednesday night.
Despite a dominant display from a patched-up City side, the Revs won against the run of play, thanks to Brian Wright's 70th minute strike.
With eight players ruled out through injury and international duty, it was a real test of depth for NYCFC in this second meeting with the Revs in 2018.
Isi Tajouri-Shradi was the man who netted a brace in the Foxborough clash in March but the Libyan international was away with his country this time, forcing Domènec Torrent into one of three changes to the lineup which started in Columbus last weekend.
It was Ronald Matarrita who created City’s first meaningful opportunity of the night on 5’ with a determined run which led to his cross being deflected off the crossbar.
That set the tone for a strong but fruitless first half for City, with the first 45’ resembling a shooting gallery at times, with New England 'keeper Brad Knighton called into action on numerous occasions as the Boys in Blue took 11 shots on goal, with four on frame.
However, it was one of the off target shots which went closest on 16’ – a 25 yard free-kick from David Villa which just whistled past the post with Knighton flying across his goal.
August Etihad Player of the Month nominee Sebastien Ibeagha was also inches away from his first goal for the club courtesy of a towering header which just went past the post.
New England only made it into the NYC penalty box once in the first half, on 25’, when Brian Wright struck the inside of the post, reminding City of the potential cost of spurning more goalscoring chances.
Despite all those opportunities in the final third, the teams went in at the break level but Torrent would’ve been the happier Head Coach on the balance of play.
The pattern of the game carried through the interval with NYCFC on top and it was Taty Castellanos’s turn to rue a missed chance shortly after the restart when he was played through by Matarrita, but the Argentine youngster took too long to get his shot away and was dispossessed in the nick of time.
Taty was in the center of things again on 56’ when the home side were denied a penalty after Castellanos’s shot struck the hand of a New England defender but following a video review, a corner was given, much to the bemusement of the majority inside the stadium.
Further chances followed, taking City’s shot count up to 22 but it was New England who scored with their sixth attempt of the night.
Wright reacted first after Sean Johnson beat out an initial attempt from Cristian Penilla to give the Revs the lead against the run of play.
With time running out to find an equalizer, Torrent sent on Jonathan Lewis, the man who’d scored the last minute winner last time New England visited Yankee Stadium, but this time there was to be no thrilling conclusion.
The unbeaten home record is gone and there’s not much time to put things right before in-form DC arrive in the Big Apple.
NYCFC.com Star of the Game
The 18-year old acquitted himself well on his first NYCFC start until he was replaced by Jonathan Lewis on 75' when the home team were chasing a goal.
Following a successful brief loan spell at Louisville City, Sands will have taken a lot from this experience and could be back in the side when DC United visit at the weekend.
Social Post of the Match…
Stats and Milestones
- James Sands made his first MLS start for NYCFC
- NYCFC lost at home for the first time this season
- Eloi Amagat came on for his second appearance for City
- Alex Ring will miss Saturday's game vs. DC as a result of yellow card accumulation
How they lined up…
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Tinnerholm, Ibeagha, Callens, Sweat, Ring, Sands (Lewis 75'), Matarrita, Moralez, Castellanos (Amagat 68'), Villa (C)
Subs: Stuver, Awuah, Scally, Bedoya, McNamara
The Boys in Blue stay in the building for Saturday's showdown in the BX vs. Wayne Rooney's DC United. A big crowd is expected, so get your tickets below...