New York City FC went down to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Portland Timbers on Sunday night.
Here’s Five Points, presented by Etihad Airways…
At the 15th time of asking, NYCFC finally tasted defeat after an incredible unbeaten run.
Not since the 4-0 in Toronto at the tail end of March have City been bested but that streak came to an end in the Bronx against the Portland Timbers.
A goal off a set-piece in the first half from Sebastian Blanco was the difference on a night where a shorthanded NYCFC side still managed to create more goalscoring opportunities than their opponents, despite fatigue and a number of players unavailable through international duty and injury.
Steve Clarke in the Portland goal was the busier of the two goalkeepers but there no way past him, despite a spirited second half effort from the home team.
There was no doubt this was a strong and professional road performance from the Timbers but NYCFC were definitely good value for a point on the balance of play and were a little unlucky to end the night empty-handed.
Shaking it Off
There’s no time for NYCFC to spend feeling sorry for themselves, not with so many important matches on the docket.
Despite the scoreline, Dome was eager to emphasize the positives after full-time and called upon his side to shake themselves off double-quick with a trip to Orlando next.
Dome told reporters: “"When I say I’m very proud, it’s for two things. It’s not easy to play after three games in a row. And today we had players out. But for me, we were able to play well. Especially in the second half. And we created more chances than the opponent."
They say the best central defenders end the 90’ with clean shorts due to their excellent reading of the game and there’s no doubt Maxime Chanot qualifies in that category.
Although he did have to slide once to block a dangerous-looking second half shot, Maxime utilized his game intelligence, positioning and strength to produce a Man of the Match winning performance - for the most part, on his feet.
The Luxembourg international rarely ever delivers sub-7/10 performances but this one was closer to a 9 as he halted Portland counter-attacking overtures all night long.
The best tifo in NYCFC history? Hats off to the Third Rail and the members of the First-Team who helped to create this. IYKYK. 🗽
Open Cup Time
It’s now officially the first Hudson River Derby week of 2019 but the Dome and the team won’t even spare one thought for the trip over the river until Wednesday night’s match in Orlando is behind them.
City are already in unchartered territory as far as the U.S. Open Cup goes, and a place in the last four is just 90 minutes away.
Fatigue and missing first-teamers could still be an issue but the Head Coach is urging his side to go all out for the win.
“"It’s not easy. We have to travel to Orlando for a few days. We are tired. But we will try to win the game."