Minnesota Goals: Rodriguez 20' & 36'
NYCFC Goals: Wallace 90+1'
New York City FC were forced to settle with four points out of a possible nine from the three-game week following a 2-0 defeat to Minnesota United in Minneapolis on Saturday night.
Angelo Rodriguez scored two first half goals and Rodney Wallace's stoppage-time reply was not enough to help NYCFC rescue a point for the Boys in Blue in their penultimate road game of the Regular Season.
New York City FC embarked on their first-ever trip to Minnesota with their passport to MLS Playoffs freshly-stamped following a 2-0 midweek win over Chicago.
Mindful of the three-game week and the upcoming three-week break before City's final two Regular Season assignments, Domènec Torrent made five changes to his lineup, bringing in Eloi Amagat, Jo Inge Berget, Alexander Callens, Valentin Castellanos and Sebastien Ibeagha.
Facing off against a Minnesota side who proved their moxie with a ten-man 3-2 win over Portland last weekend, NYCFC could sure up home field advantage in the Playoffs with a victory and they made a strong start towards it with a couple of early chances.
Fielded in a more advanced role in the absence of the rested Maxi Moralez, Alex Ring was lively early on, linking up with Berget eye-catchingly on a couple of occasions, with Jo Inge pulling a shot a foot wide on 12' from a pass by the Finn.
Taty Castellanos threatened on 14' with a sighter from range but it was the hosts who took the lead on 20' through Angelo Rodriguez who headed in at the back post unchecked from a deep cross by Ibarra on a breakaway.
On 33', Berget believed he'd been impeded in the penalty area and that the referee should have pointed to the spot but the strong appeals were turned away and the officials did not seek video review.
Three minutes later, the Loons' advantage was doubled after Rodriguez capitalized on a wayward back pass, allowing the Minnesota no.9 to beat Sean Johnson to the ball and tap into the empty net.
It was a flattering scoreline but it gave Torrent's men a mountain to climb in the second half.
Tajouri-Shradi, NYCFC's best player on the night, forced Bobby Shuttleworth into a save with a long-range free-kick on 52' and Berget went close with a diving header from a wicked Castellanos cross on 60', as City improved after the interval.
Rodney Wallace was brought into the game for Ring on 72' and he went close with his first touch, attempting a bicycle kick from a New York set-piece, seconds after his introduction.
In the space of a dramatic minute, Jesus Medina made his long-awaited return from injury and Adrian Heath's Minnesota were reduced to ten men following an ugly challenge on Amagat resulted in a red card for Collen Warner.
City finally forced the ball into the net in stoppage-time when Wallace bundled home his first goal of the season but there was no time for an equalizer.
NYCFC.com Star of the Game
NYCFC's leading light, the Libyan international was a box of tricks, with his direct running unsettling the Minnesota defense on numerous occasions before and after the interval.
Social Post of the Match…
Stats and Milestones
- Torrent made five changes to his lineup, bringing in Amagat, Berget, Callens, Castellanos and Ibeagha
- This was NYCFC's first trip to Minnesota and the second-ever meeting between the clubs
- Rodney Wallace scored his first goal of the 2018 season
- Minnesota defeated NYCFC for the first time (P1 W1 L1)
- City remains third in the Eastern Conference, five points clear of Columbus Crew SC
How They Lined Up...
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Tinnerholm, Callens, Ibeagha, Sweat (Matarrita 83'), Ring (Wallace 72'), Ofori, Amagat, Tajouri-Shradi, Castellanos, Berget (Medina 76')
Subs: Stuver, Awuah, Sands, McNamara
The Boys in Blue take another lengthy break from action, returning at D.C. United on October 21. Our final Regular Season home game is vs. Philadelphia on October 28. Get your tickets at NYCFC.com/Tickets.