NYCFC Goals: Parks 40, Mitriță 43’
San Jose Earthquakes Goals: Wondolowski 20’
NYCFC clinched home-field advantage for their first MLS Playoffs game, thanks to a 2-1 comeback win over the San Jose Earthquakes.
Despite falling behind on 20' to Chris Wondolowski's goal, Keaton Parks and Alexandru Mitriță turned the tide and put City six points clear at the top of the East.
New York City FC returned to the Bronx for the third match in seven days, looking to make it seven points from the three-game week.
Since the International break came to a close, Maxime Chanot and Alex Callens returned to the defensive line after missing two games, while Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Gary Mackay-Steven were also back in the Starting XI.
With Maxi Moralez unavailable for the matchup through hamstring discomfort, the rest of the team would have to step up to create chances to solidify their spot on the top of the Eastern Conference.
Although the San Jose Earthquakes had lost their last four road games, they traveled to the Bronx on a mission and Chris Wondolowski, Major League Soccer’s all-time leading goalscorer, scored the opening goal of the night in the 20th minute to give the visitors a surprise early lead.
Undeterred, NYC stuck to their game plan and waited for their opportunity to strike back, eventually finding the equalizer five minutes before the break.
In the 40th minute, Keaton Parks tore through the midfield and teed up Mackay-Steven for the shot. When the Scot's effort came back off the 'keeper, there was Parks on the follow-up to tackle the ball into the net for his first-ever MLS goal.
Just three minutes later, NYCFC found the lead thanks to the Libyan-Romanian connection. Tajouri-Shradi created it sublimely, tearing through the San Jose midfield and finding Mitriță on a perfectly-placed through ball.
The Romanian had one touch on the ball to set and then slotted past the onrushing GK to put NYC up on his ninth goal of the season.
With two goals in three minutes, the Boys in Blue retired to the locker room one goal up at the half.
In the 64th minute, City almost found their third goal of the game courtesy of Alex Ring after brilliant interplay between Taty Castellanos and Mitri created the opening but a San Jose defender was there to sweep up on the goalline.
As time winded down, the attempts continued from both sides, but the match ended with a 2-1 NYCFC win. The team successfully picked up seven points in seven days and solidified their spot atop of the Eastern Conference table while clinching a home playoff game.
NYCFC.com Man of the Match
The young midfielder came through for City to find the equalizer, scoring the first goal of his MLS career. He has become a fixture in Dome Torrent's midfield for his ability to drop back as a defending midfielder or to stride up and create chances as he did today.
How We Lined Up
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Tinnerholm, Chanot, Callens, Matarrita, Ring (C), Parks, Tajouri-Shradi, Mackay-Steven, Mitriță, Castellanos
Subs: Stuver, Ibeagha, Miller, Sweat, Rocha, Ofori, Medina
The Boys in Blue travel south to take on FC Dallas for the first time this season on September 22 before returning home three days later to take on Atlanta United for the final home game of the regular season. Buy your tickets now.