NYCFC Goals: Chanot 8', Trusty (OG) 10', Villa 34'
Philadelphia Goals: Burke 14'
New York City FC will open up their MLS Playoffs campaign in the Bronx with an instant re-match vs. the Philadelphia after defeating The Union 3-1 to secure third place on Decision Day.
First half goals from Maxime Chanot and David Villa (plus an Auston Trusty own goal), had NYCFC halfway there at the half-time break and Sean Johnson's second half penalty save ensured that the hosts would take all three points.
NYCFC's reward for a third place finish is a home Knockout Round match Philadelphia on October 31 in New York at 7pm.
New York went into this one knowing that any kind of a result would ensure that the Boys in Blue opened up the postseason in the BX for the first time.
A Knockout Round game on home field would be the reward and Dome Torrent’s men wasted no time in racing into the ascendancy on Fan Appreciation Day.
It’s rare in soccer than you can say that a goal was coming in the opening 10’ but such was NYCFC’s dominance that Maxime Chanot’s eighth-minute header from a Maxi Moralez corner was no more than they deserved.
Philadelphia ‘keeper Andre Blake had already been called into action on numerous occasions by that stage but there was nothing he could do again two minutes later, when Trusty fired into his own net lucklessly.
The crazy, frenetic opening to the game continued on 14’ when Cory Burke reduced the arrears with an emphatic finish after a through ball had deflected fortuitously into his path.
Philadelphia were making a game of it but City did not buckle, continuing to dominate, inspired by Yangel Herrera, who was making his first start in five months and looked like he’d never been away.
The captain was also looking strong and so it was no surprise when he restored NYC’s two-goal advantage on 34’, forcing it in at the second time of asking after reacting first to Blake’s incredible save.
3-1 to the good at the interval, NYCFC picked up where they left off in the second 45’, with Moralez buzzing in and around the penalty area and drawing a fine save from Blake a few minutes after the restart.
A few minutes later, it was Sean Johnson’s turn to shine and shine he did with an incredible penalty save, denying Fafa Picoult from the spot with a giant paw low down to his right.
That was the end of the meaningful incident in the game with the job done from the home side and all eyes trained on a huge game coming up in a few days.
NYCFC.com Star of the Game
The Venezuelan midfielder was making his first start since May for NYCFC but he looked like he'd never been away with a first-class midfield performance.
Destructive off the ball and clever with it, Herrera helped City seize control of this match and showed home faithful just what they've been missing in his absence.
Social Post of the Match…
I wouldn't have known Villa if he was having a beer next to me a few years back. But he's my favorite NY athlete right now because he shows up every game and busts it all over the field. He's not here to cash a check, he's here to win. Refreshing. #NYCFC #ForTheCity https://t.co/YKtbRDWOwF— john . (@ideserveabeer) October 28, 2018
Stats and Milestones
- Torrent made three changes to the lineup from the D.C. defeat, bringing in Chanot, Herrera and Sweat
- Yangel Herrera made his first start since May 25
- Maxime Chanot scored his first goal of the season and second career goal vs. Philadelphia
- David Villa scored his 14th goal of the year
How They Lined Up...
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Tinnerholm, Callens, Chanot (Ofori 88'), Sweat, Ring, Herrera, Moralez (Amagat 68'), Medina (Tajouri-Shradi 85'), Matarrita, Villa (C)
Subs: Stuver, Ibeagha, Wallace, Castellanos
The MLS Playoffs start here... City will be back in the Bronx on Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Union.
Get your tickets at NYCFC.com/Playoffs.