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NYCFC With Strong First Half, Escape With a 3-2 Win Over DC United

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3/18/2023 James Sands Sliding To Block A Pass Against DC United. Credit: Ernesto Diaz/Stream Punk Entertainment
Credit: Ernesto Diaz/Stream Punk Entertainment

In a tale of two halves, the New York City Football Club improved to 2-1-1 on the season with a nail biting 3-2 win over visiting DC United. NYCFC came out early with multiple scoring chances by the 9th minute after a Talles Magno shot on net immediately after a DC yellow card. Magno would get that goal about 8 minutes later after taking a cross pass from Matias Pellegrini for a left footed goal that was initially ruled offside but overturned via VAR for a 1-0 lead. Just two minutes later new addition Pellegrini had an opportunity with a bomb from midfield over the head of goalkeeper Tyler Miller, but the shot went wide. The second goal would come at the 37th minute as Santiago Rodriguez a pass from Gabriel Pereira down the right side and into the left side of the net for a 2-0 lead.

The second half started out with a bang for DC United. It took exactly 33 second for Striker and team captain Christian Benteke to put a header past NYCFC goaltender Luis Barraza to immediately cut their deficit to 1. DC nearly had the equalizer at 70 when Barraza turned away both a setup from the right side and a laser from Theodore Ku-DiPietro to keep it a one goal game. DC kept the pressure on for the entirety of the half but a late goal to the right side of the net by Thiago Andrade at the 88th minute took the NYCFC lead temporarily to 3-1 until Steve Birnbaum again cut the DC lead to 1 just two minutes late with a header off a corner. Additional time saw DC with several chances for the equalizer but were unable to convert, giving NYCFC it’s second win at home this season.

Head coach Nick Cushing summed up the match similarly. “I think the first half I was really pleased with. As the season goes we have to take on those opportunities, we have to go three, four goals up, because there were two or three really good moments outside of the goals that we scored. The team has to have a real motivation to play a 90-minute performance with the ball. I think the problem we had today was that the goal shocked us straight after half-time. We have a lot of young guys on our team. So, I know that it’s going to take us time, and then the game’s messy, and their style contradicts our style with a lot of balls in the air. In the end, I was pleased. Maybe not that we got the ball down and controlled the game with our style, but that we showed a different side of ourselves in the ability to fight and pick up second balls and reduce them. You know, it’s another set-play goal and a cross but apart from that, I think they won one or two chances. So, yeah, I’m pleased, but we have to be better with the ball.” 

Now in 5th place in the East, the club travels to Houston to take on the Dynamo next Saturday.

5 Notes:

1) For Thiago Andrade his goal was the 10th of his career, having scored 5 in 2022 and 4 in 2021, with his last goal on August 13, 2022.

2) NYCFC drew 17,821 for their second match after 24,489 in the season opener. That number for the second night was slightly higher than the club average last season, and on a night up against March Madness, WBC, plus NBA & NHL as well.

3) This match was the first time in the regular season that NYCFC scored 3 or more in a game dating back to July 9, 2022 when they scored 4 against New England.

4) NYCFC is nearly completion of a deal that will bring 22 year old Midfielder Richard Ledezma via loan from the Dutch club PSV. Ledezma has played 15 games with PSV & 47 games with it’s reserve club Jong PSV, scoring 1 goal & 7 goals respectively.

5) It’ll be almost 4 years since NYCFC faced off against the Houston Dynamo, not having seen them since August 2019 with the Gents in Blue holding a 2-1-1 advantage.

About the author – Scott Churchson has been an actor in every way for the past 13 years, from BG to stand in to stunts and principal, a sports writer for the past 4 and is one of the people that created Stream Punk Entertainment. He’s married to a veterinarian, has a cat with three working legs and is just a simple man trying to make his way in the universe.

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