NYCFC Goals: Tajouri-Shradi 10', Villa 26', Moralez 78'
Philadelphia Goals: Burke 79'
New York City FC advanced through to the Eastern Conference semifinals with relative ease, thanks to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union.
First half goals from Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and David Villa put the Boys in Blue in a commanding position at the half and the excellent Maxi Moralez made sure of City's progress to the next round with a third on 78'.
Dome Torrent's side will take on Atlanta United in the Conference last four with the first leg taking place at Yankee Stadium on Sunday (time TBD).
It was an instant repeat of Sunday’s Decision son Day showdown with Philadelphia for NYCFC in their first-ever Knockout Round game.
A comfortable 3-1 win over Jim Curtin’s men sealed third place and home-field advantage for the Boys in Blue who were looking to advance in the postseason for the first time in club history.
Buoyed by Sunday’s feel-good win, NYC set off in fine style and almost took the lead on 6’ when Yangel Herrera forced Andre Blake into a scrambling save but the home fans wouldn’t have to wait long to celebrate.
Tajouri-Shradi’s name was the only new one on the teamsheet from the weekend, and he made his call-up count in sensational style with ten minutes on the clock.
Moralez curled the ball forward into space and Villa’s acrobatic backheel gave Tajouri-Shradi the opportunity to let rip first-time on the volley – and that’s just what he did – thrashing it into the top corner beyond Blake’s despairing dive.
It was a stunning goal which set the tone for a dominant first period for the home side and Villa doubled the advantage on 26’ when he fired in his fourth goal in four games, racing onto Moralez’s through ball and beating Blake all ends up.
Two to the good going in at the break, Torrent’s message would have been clear at the interval: Do not let this slip.
With half of the job done, NYCFC seemed to close ranks after the break and concentrate on game management, keeping their foot on the ball and working around a Philadelphia side clearly demoralized from their two concessions.
They did get through once and threatened to halve the advantage in the early minutes of the second period, with Sean Johnson being called into meaningful action for the first time to turn away a goalbound effort from ten yards out.
However, the contest was all wrapped up on 78' when Moralez crowned a Man of the Match performance with the clincher: A stunning chip over the onrushing Blake which landed satisfyingly just over the goalline.
As he did on Sunday, Cory Burke added the consolation to give us the same scoreline, but City's progress had been assured.
Bring on Atlanta.
NYCFC.com Star of the Game
A menace on both sides of the ball, the Argentine had a hand in both goals in the first half and span his webs all night long.
With the old Herrera, Ring, Moralez trinity in tandem, could the City faithful dream big this postseason?
Social Post of the Game
Stats and Milestones
- New York City FC won a postseason series for the first time in club history
- Ismael Tajouri-Shradi netted his 12th goal of the season
- David Villa scored his 15th goal of 2018 and his fourth in four games
- NYCFC have now won their last three home games
- City won 3-1 again - the same scoreline as our win over Philadelphia three days ago
How They Lined Up...
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Tinnerholm, Callens, Chanot, Sweat, Ring, Herrera, Moralez, Tajouri-Shradi, Matarrita, Villa (C)
Subs: Stuver, Ibeagha, Amagat, Medina, Ofori, Castellanos, Berget
We go on... next up, it's the first leg of the MLS Playoffs Eastern Conference semifinals vs. Atlanta United. The first leg is in the Bronx this coming Sunday at a time TBD. Get your tickets below...