NYCFC Gets Second Win Of Season


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.

“We had a tough start of it because it has been stop and start, we have played away all the time. So now, we need to do something to turn it around,” said coach Deila. “As I said, the performance today was amazing, really good. I think this will be momentum for us. Something we can build on for the Chicago game on Saturday. The dressing room was happy, tired of course…It is important to really enjoy the win and then get ourselves ready for Saturday.” 

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.

“I think it was a really big win for us. We were in a position where we needed points.,” said goalkeeper Sean Johnson. “I think the focus was on us and what we needed to do, not so much worried about where Columbus was in the table. It was really important stick to the things that have made us successful in the past. We dug deep, I think there was a real fight and a real commitment to playing. I think you can see it all around the pitch. Nobody was scared, nobody backed down and we were always on the front foot.” 

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.

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