Strong Second Half Helps New York City FC Make a Comeback As They Defeat D.C United 3-1
After a two match losing streak, New York City FC made a welcomed comeback as they defeated D.C. United 3-1. Fans were delighted to see designated players Andrea Pirlo and David Villa in action once more—with Pirlo assisting Villa’s goal in the second half. With three points earned, both fans and the club are looking forward to the next match.
Soccer News: New York City FC earned a vital three points in the race for the Major League Soccer playoffs with a dramatic 3-1 victory over D.C. United in front of a sell-out crowd of 28,262 on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.
New York City FC snapped a two-game losing streak with the victory and improve to 7-11-6 (27 points), while Eastern Conference-leading D.C. United fall to 13-8-5 (44 points).
“I think it’s an important win. It could be a huge win for us, and a season changer for us, and a momentum changer for us. I’m hopeful of that, and I’m hopeful the locker room feels the same way,” said NYC FC head coach, Jason Kreis.
With the score knotted at 1-1 in the 80th minute, midfielder Andrea Pirlo played a pinpoint perfect pass over the top to David Villa. Villa, who somehow controlled the ball while sandwiched by D.C. United defenders Sean Franklin and Bobby Boswell, fired the go-ahead goal home. It is Villa’s Club-leading 14th goal of his debut campaign in the league.
“I needed to get forgiven for the bad pass that lead to the first goal. Villa was really good at picking up on it and it ended up really well,” said Pirlo about his pass to Villa.
Pirlo added, “We were convinced that we were able to do a lot better. Not just in terms of our ranking in the standing but to further the morale in the team. We’ve been working really hard and thank God that the fruits were there for us to eat tonight.”
New York City FC weren’t done, though, as Kwadwo Poku sealed all three points for the home side with a goal in the 88th minute.
“It was great because I missed a chance like 5 minutes before that chance and I was so mad. It was 2-1 and what was going on in my mind was like ‘man, you’ve got to finish this game somehow before they tie this game.’ So, I was upset for a little bit but when I got that goal it was like, finally, I can breathe now,” Poku said
Poku received the ball on the right flank and drove on Boswell, turning him in and out and in again before blasting a shot past Bill Hamid at the near post for a 3-1 advantage.
The Ghanaian midfielder was also involved in the Club’s first goal of the evening in the 51st.
Villa had the ball on the left side and played a lovely through ball to Poku in space on the right. Poku drove into the box and dribbled past Hamid to his right before feeding the ball across the middle of the goal mouth to Tommy McNamara, who slotted it home.
It was Poku’s team-leading seventh assist and McNamara’s fifth goal of the season.
“He played a fantastic game,” Pirlo commented on Poku. “He had done so before against Orlando and the other teams. He is a player I did not know before. He has incredible physical strength and he is growing so well and so much. He works very hard and he will continue to do so and grow.”
After a back-and-forth first 35 minutes, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock in the 37th.
Pirlo’s attempted back pass near midfield was picked off by D.C. United forward Chris Rolfe, who beat a defender and streaked down the left side. Rolfe got to the 18-yard line and slid the ball across the middle to Alvaro Saborio whose side-footed effort went into the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage.
The score remained 1-0 at halftime.
New York City FC came out the stronger side in the second stanza, dominating possession and it seemed only a matter of time before the pressure paid dividends with a goal.
Six minutes into the half it did.
New York City FC begin a two-match road swing with a match in Columbus against Columbus Crew SC on August 19.
New York City FC 3, D.C. United 1
36’ Alvaro Saborio, DC (Assisted by Chris Rolfe)
51’ Thomas McNamara, NYC (Assisted by Kwadwo Poku)
80’ David Villa, NYC (Assisted by Andrea Pirlo)
88’ Kwadwo Poku, NYC (Assisted by Thomas McNamara)
New York City FC: Josh Saunders, Jason Hernandez, Angelino, Shay Facey, RJ Allen (Andoni Iraola, 52’), Andrew Jacobson, Andrea Pirlo, Thomas McNamara, Kwadwo Poku (Patrick Mullins, 90’+3’), Mix Diskerud (Sebastian Velasquez, 79’), David Villa
D.C. United: Bill Hamid, Bobby Boswell, Chris Korb (Miguel Aguilar, 79’), Steve Birnbaum, Taylor Kemp, Sean Franklin, Marcus Halsti (Michael Farfan, 65’), Conor Doyle (Chris Pontius, 76’), Alvaro Saborio, Chris Rolfe
Watch match highlights: