Inter Miami Goals:
NYCFC Goals: Tajouri-Shradi 64'
New York City FC started off the week with their first win of the 2020 Major League Soccer season on Monday morning in Orlando.
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Inter Miami which capped off group stage play at the MLS is Back Tournament.
City, who improved hugely in the second half of this latest 90', will now face an anxious wait for results elsewhere to learn if they will squeeze through to the knockout stages of the competition with three points and -2 goal differential.
New York City FC entered their third and final match of the MLS is Back Tournament group stages knowing that a win was required to keep their qualification hopes alive.
With Orlando City and Philadelphia safely through from Group A, the fight was on for one of the four third-place qualifying spots in this first meeting between the two clubs.
Following a disappointing second match vs. Orlando which saw City fall to a 3-1 defeat, Head Coach Ronny Deila made two changes, bringing in Alexandru Mitriță and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi in place of Héber and Gudmundur Thórarinsson.
Maxi Moralez was fit enough to retake a spot on the bench after recovering quickly from a quad injury, while Sebastien Ibeagha was also cleared to rejoin the squad.
NYC’s best attempt of the first half arrived on 9’ through Taty Castellanos, who went close to an early goal when Mitrita’s diagonal run cleared space for a strike from the top of the box, but the Argentine’s effort sailed just over the angle of post and crossbar.
Sean Johnson was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first 45’, making a couple of strong stops from Juan Agudelo and Jorge Figal headers on 10’ and 35’ respectively.
Goalless at the half, both sides were battling hard to keep their tournament hopes alive, with the first goal looking massive - happily, it was NYCFC who got it courtesy of a move of the highest quality on 64’.
Mitriță’s ball over the top of the Miami defense was inch-perfect for Tajouri-Shradi and only bettered by the Libyan’s first touch which took him clear for a cool finish across the onrushing Luis Robles.
Confidence suddenly flowed through the collective veins of NYCFC with spaces opening up on the field. Keaton Parks entered as a substitute after the opening goal and forced a brilliant save from Robles with his first meaningful involvement, cutting inside and drilling the ball low from the top of the box on 71’.
With additional goals desired to put City in a strong spot in the Wild Card standings, Maxi Moralez joined the action for his 100th MLS appearance for the Boys in Blue, along with Gary Mackay-Steven with 10 minutes of regulation time remaining.
Agudelo was red carded for a charge on Tinnerholm with a few minutes left but City couldn’t fashion another chance and will now await results in the remaining group games to learn their fate.
As it stands, NYCFC are currently third in the Wild Card standings with three points and a -2 goal differential.
Heineken Man of the Match
As voted on Twitter: Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (53.4%)
How We Lined Up
As it stands, NYCFC do not know if they will remain in Orlando for the knockout stages of the competition with results in other groups dictating who will be the four third-place qualifiers. You can keep track of where NYCFC lie in the standings here.