New York City FC emerged victorious after a dramatic 3-2 win over Houston Dynamo last night at Yankee Stadium.
Here’s Five Points from a wild one, presented by Etihad Airways…
Through the Storm
It was a real test of character for the Boys in Blue after 10-man Houston edged ahead with just 13 minutes remaining.
The hour-long weather break seemed to do more for the Dynamo than it did for NYCFC as the visitors used the time to come up with a stoic gameplan which almost earned an unlikely road win.
However, Dome Torrent's side would not be denied and one of the second half substitutes made the decisive contribution to turn the game in thrilling fashion with two goals in the final seven minutes.
City weren’t at their best over the course of the 90’ but they kept the pressure on the teams above them in the East and rode the storm to earn all three points.
JOIN NEW YORK CITY'S FOOTBALL CLUB.
His teammates call him “El Animale” for a reason.
Taty’s growth into a decisive player for NYCFC has been clear to anyone who’s been following the games this season and the Argentine came up huge again on Thursday night with perhaps his biggest contribution to date.
Not content with scoring City’s first headed goal of 2019 on 83', Castellanos was there once again in the fourth minute of stoppage-time to force the ball home after Deric had saved from his initial header.
Dome certainly approved, noting after the game: "I’m very happy with Taty. They all deserve to play but he’s shown me in training that he has the desire to play every single game - he’s a fighter and in this year he’s improved a lot. He's a goalscorer."
Another player who entered the game from the bench and helped turn the tide was Maxi Moralez.
After taking part in his first All-Star game in Orlando, our resident Spidey was rested for the road trip to RSL and he wasn’t fit enough to take his place from the start vs. Houston on Thursday night.
When Manotas put the Dynamo ahead, Torrent didn’t hesitate, sending in Maxi for the final 12 minutes where he made his presence felt.
Will he be fit enough for the XI on Sunday in Atlanta? Dome couldn’t say in the post-game but Maxi will surely have benefitted from having most of this night off, as well as last week's tough one in Utah.
How about that opening goal though?
It may not have ended up being the winning goal chronologically but it was yet another example of the attractive philosophy taking root at NYCFC in 2019, with Jesus Medina, Héber and Mitri combining to stunning effect.
From Medina’s jinking run inside, to Mitri’s rapid one-twos with Héber and the icy cool finish, it was a beautiful goal that will be in good company on the Goal of the Season countdown video hitting NYCFC.com at the end of 2019.
A final word for a returning hero, making his first return to NYC.
Tommy McNamara didn’t net a typical upper 90 strike as we surely all thought was scripted, but West Nyack’s finest did show his talents with another excellent display in the midfield, creating Houston's opening goal with a clever pass.
T-Mac is the only Houston player to have taken part in every MLS game so far this season and he showed why, earning a huge ovation from the Bronx faithful in the process.
You'll always be welcome here, Tommy.