D.C. United Goals:
It was a tale of two goalkeepers at Yankee Stadium for NYCFC’s Home Opener as D.C. United held the Boys in Blue to a goalless draw.
Both Sean Johnson and Bill Hamid were at the very tops of their game to preserve clean sheets in front of more than 24,000 supporters in the Bronx.
NYCFC kicked off their Season 5 Home Opener against D.C. United aiming to build upon the 2-2 tie on the opening day of the season in Orlando.
The first half started with D.C. United on the front foot, creating early opportunities to score but Luciano Acosta and Wayne Rooney found Johnson in fine form.
As the first half went on, NYCFC were able to gain control, picking apart the D.C. United defense and creating chances of their own. Alex Ring was closest to opening the scoring for the Blues in the first period with two long-range strikes; one flying just over the crossbar and the other drawing Hamid’s first great save of the night.
It wouldn’t be his last…
On his Bronx debut, Mitriță made Yankee Stadium his home with an influential performance, creating chances and working well in tandem with Maxi Moralez to develop the connection between the midfield and the front line.
Homegrown James Sands, also showed his toughness in the midfield by making crucial plays to prevent D.C. United from connecting on passes and gaining traction near the goal, as well as spreading the ball neatly when in possession.
It was Mitriță who drew the next great stop from Hamid with a free-kick which had to be beaten away in the early minutes of the second period as City stepped up the search for the deadlock-breaker.
Against Orlando, NYC had to soak up a lot of pressure but this time City were in the ascendancy. Sadly Hamid, like Johnson, proved to be like a brick wall between the sticks, making another unreal save from a diving header by Ring late in the game.
On 82', United’s Luciano Acosta threatened by curling the ball towards the net, but Johnson once again was there to paw it away with a magnificent save of his own.
Despite late pressure and more close shaves in the D.C. box, both teams had to be content with one point, meaning NYCFC remains undefeated in home openers thus far through five (W3 D2).
Same time, same place next Sunday for LAFC as we go for the first three points of 2019.
Man of the Match
Johnson would not be beaten. Sean's quick reflexes and towering presence in the box showed out in tonight's Home Opener to earn him the Man of the Match award for the first home game of the campaign.
How We Lined Up
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Tinnerholm, Chanot, Callens, Sweat, Sands, Ring, Moralez, Medina (Tajouri-Shradi 69'), Mitriță, Castellanos (Lewis 75')
NYCFC takes on LAFC at home on Sunday, March 17 as the team continues to fight for the first three points of the season. Get your tickets here.