NYCFC Goals: Ring 59'
Columbus Crew SC Goals:
New York City FC got back to winning ways with a hard-earned 1-0 victory over the Eastern Conference leaders, Columbus Crew SC.
Alex Ring scored the only goal of the night on the hour mark after Héber overturned possession deep in opposition territory and fed the captain for a tap-in. That was enough to give City a second victory of the 2020 regular season in NYCFC's first game hosting at Red Bull Arena in phase 1 of the MLS restart.
Ronny Deila called upon his team to dig deep following last Thursday’s 1-0 defeat in the Hudson River Derby at Red Bull Arena.
Eastern Conference leaders Columbus Crew were the visitors to the same stadium, NYCFC’s temporary home through this initial return to home market play, providing in-form opposition for City's shot at redemption.
Deila made one change to the side which started vs. Red Bulls, reverting to a 4-3-3, bringing in Alexandru Mitriță for Taty Castellanos in attack, with James Sands moving into the midfield.
The night's home team made a committed start to the game, snapping into tackles from the first whistle to try and turn around the form which saw them opening up the game in an unfamiliar position at the foot of the standings.
In a lively opening 10’, Alex Ring put an early look on goal high over the crossbar, while at the other end, Gyasi Zardes had the ball in the net on the Crew’s first attack on 10’, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.
From there, the first half was a tough back and forth spectacle, characterized by few clear chances, but plenty of quality build-up play, with NYCFC continuing to edge the duels up to the whistle.
Against Red Bulls last time out, the 15 minutes after halftime cost the Boys in Blue a chance of any points, but it couldn’t have been more different this time around.
NYCFC flew out of the blocks for the second half and began finding the sharp points to their attacks which had been missing for all the perspiration expended in the first 45’.
The excellent Mitriță sounded the alarm when he dipped inside and pinged the crossbar with a shot from range on 52’, before Héber forced a solid save out of Tarbell shortly thereafter.
Anton Tinnerholm, another of the night’s star performers, went close himself after latching onto Jesus Medina’s smart pass on 55' but the Swede’s sliding shot just rolled agonizingly the wrong side of the post.
It looked a matter of time before the NYCFC pressure would tell and that’s how it played out, with Alex Ring finally breaking the deadlock with the hour approaching. Héber’s pressing was on point as he intercepted Keita’s pass out of defense and the Brazilian unselfishly squared for Ring who did the rest, tapping it in from close range.
From there, NYCFC continued to play dominant football, with Taty Castellanos, Gary Mackay-Steven and Gudmundur Thórarinsson coming off the bench to get the team over the line.
There was one moment of concern on 90’ when Columbus had the ball in the net for the second time but once again the officials correctly ruled out the goal, meaning NYCFC secured their second win of the season and an important psychological boost ahead of another big game on Saturday vs. Chicago.
Let’s keep it rolling.
Heineken Man of the Match
As voted on Twitter: Alex Ring (40.5%)
How We Lined Up
New York City FC hosts Chicago Fire at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night at 7:30PM ET (YES Network / NYCFC.com/Radio).