Source: New York City FC Press
New York City FC defeated the Philadelphia Union 3 – 1 on Wednesday night to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the third consecutive season. NYCFC will face Atlanta United and host the first leg of the series on Sunday at Yankee Stadium at a time to be announced later this week. The return leg is scheduled for November 11th in Atlanta.
It was an instant repeat of Sunday’s Decision Day showdown with Philadelphia for NYCFC in their first-ever Knockout Round game.
A comfortable 3-1 win over Jim Curtin’s men sealed third place and home-field advantage for the Boys in Blue who were looking to advance in the postseason for the first time in club history.
Buoyed by Sunday’s feel-good win, NYC set off in fine style and almost took the lead on 6’ when Yangel Herrera forced Andre Blake into a scrambling save but the home fans wouldn’t have to wait long to celebrate.
Tajouri-Shradi’s name was the only new one on the teamsheet from the weekend, and he made his call-up count in sensational style with ten minutes on the clock.
Moralez curled the ball forward into space and Villa’s acrobatic backheel gave Tajouri-Shradi the opportunity to let rip first-time on the volley – and that’s just what he did – thrashing it into the top corner beyond Blake’s despairing dive.
It was a stunning goal which set the tone for a dominant first period for the home side and Villa doubled the advantage on 26’ when he fired in his fourth goal in four games, racing onto Moralez’s through ball and beating Blake all ends up.
Two to the good going in at the break, Torrent’s message would have been clear at the interval: Do not let this slip.
With half of the job done, NYCFC seemed to close ranks after the break and concentrate on game management, keeping their foot on the ball and working around a Philadelphia side clearly demoralized from their two concessions.
They did get through once and threatened to halve the advantage in the early minutes of the second period, with Sean Johnson being called into meaningful action for the first time to turn away a goalbound effort from ten yards out.
However, the contest was all wrapped up on 78' when Moralez crowned a Man of the Match performance with the clincher: A stunning chip over the onrushing Blake which landed satisfyingly just over the goalline.
As he did on Sunday, Cory Burke added the consolation to give us the same scoreline, but City's progress had been assured.
Bring on Atlanta.
- Ismael Tajouri-Shradi netted his 12th goal of the season
- David Villa scored his 15th goal of 2018 and has scored in four consecutive games
- NYCFC have now won their last three home games
New York City FC 3 – 1 Philadelphia Union
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs – Knockout Round
Yankee Stadium – Bronx, NY
New York City FC: Sean Johnson; Ben Sweat, Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot, Anton Tinnerholm; Alexander Ring, Yangel Herrera (80’ Eloi Amagat), Maxi Moralez; Ronald Matarrita, David Villa (84’ Valentin Castellanos), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (63’ Ebenezer Ofori)
SUBS UNUSED: Brad Stuver, Sebastien Ibeagha, Jesus Medina, Jo Inge Berget
Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake; Raymon Gaddis, Auston Trusty, Mark McKenzie, Keegan Rosenberry (71’ C.J. Sapong) ; Haris Medunjanin, Warren Creavalle (46’ Ilsinho), Fabrice-Jean Picault, Borek Dockal, Alejandro Bedoya (82’ Derrick Jones); Cory Burke
SUBS UNUSED: John McCarthy, Fabinho, Jack Elliott, Jay Simpson
10’ – NYC – Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (Assisted by: Maxi Moralez)
26’ – NYC – David Villa (Assisted by: Maxi Moralez, Ronald Matarrita)
78’ – NYC – Maxi Moralez (Assisted by: Anton Tinnerholm)
83’ – PHI – Cory Burke (Assisted by: Ilsinho)
24’ – PHI – Mark McKenzie (YC – Unsporting Behavior)
55’ – NYC – Maxime Chanot (YC – Unsporting Behavior)
71’ – NYC – Ben Sweat (YC – Unsporting Behavior)
73’ – PHI – Haris Medunjanin (YC – Dissent)
86’ – PHI – Derrick Jones (YC – Unsporting Behavior)
Full Match Statistics: click here