NYCFC kept all three points and their home winning streak alive, overcoming a visiting D.C. United 3-2.
Yankee Stadium is never kind to D.C. United, and tonight was no exception. An early two-goal lead for the hosts and a bevy of injuries all set up a challenging match, continuing the unfortunate tradition of the Black-and-Red being unable to pull out a win in the Bronx.
The tight quarters in Yankee Stadium are sometimes (most of the time) hard for visitors to settle into, giving NYC an undeniable advantage. Throughout the first half, City capitalized on this advantage to quickly pick its way through D.C.’s defense.
In the 17′, Talles Magno lobbed a close-range shot past Tyler Miller to stun the Black-and-Red. The play immediately went to VAR for a possible offside, but in the end, Magno’s goal ended up on the board to give the hosts the lead.
NYCFC’s attack wouldn’t quit, with Matí Pellegrini coming in hot to make another attempt in the 21′. Santiago Rodríguez had Pellegrini’s back on the assist, taking advantage of a fast break to overwhelm D.C. United. Thankfully, the opportunity was missed. Tayvon Gray would take his own chance minutes later, attempting to convert a corner in the 25′. It would take NYCFC a bit longer to strike again.
Christian Benteke set up Nigel Robertha in the 27′ to take a shot on Luis Barraza. Unfortunately, Robertha’s shot didn’t find the back of the net – Barraza stopped the shot to deny the Black-and-Red.
Rodríguez went from facilitating shots to scoring goals in the 37′ when he flung a through ball by Gabriel Pereira past Miller to double NYCFC’s lead. His goal would close out the half, sending D.C. to the locker room empty handed.
After the half, D.C. United’s response to NYCFC was immediate, with Benteke whipping in a header right away in the 46′. The goal was enough to stun NYC and put them off their pace enough for the Black-and-Red to take some control back in the match. Arguably, D.C.’s performance improved significantly after Benteke’s goal, with the second-half performance outshining the first 45′.
Thiago Andrade found a very dangerous third goal in the 88′ that would end up denying D.C. a point on the road. He snuck into the bottom right corner with Rodríguez on the assist again.
Steve Birnbaum tucked one away in the 90′ for the Black-and-Red, capitalizing on a corner to find the back of the net with his signature header. Mateusz Klich provided the assist with his exceptional service.
D.C. United returns to Audi Field to face New England Revolution on March 25 at 7:30 pm ET. Make sure you wear your cherry blossom gear!
- Benteke always shows up. Christian Benteke is a dangerous player, make no mistake. He consistently creates chances for the Black-and-Red, finding opportunities in the box in every single match. His goal in the 46′ reignited D.C. toward a comeback against NYC.
- Don’t underestimate Steve Birnbaum. Birnbaum tucked away a header in the 90′ to keep the hope alive for the Black-and-Red. He regularly converts corner kicks, to the point we’re laughing if the opposition isn’t obsessively marking him.
- Little mistakes have big repercussions. MLS teams are getting sharper, smarter, and faster. Small defensive errors or lacking accuracy make all the difference in the outcome of a match. To be strong playoff contenders, the Black-and-Red will need to tighten up.
Watch the highlights from Team Name vs. D.C. United
MLS Regular Season – Game 4
NYCFC: 3 Magno 17′, Rodríguez 37′, Andrade 88′
D.C. United: 2 Benteke 46′, Birnbaum 90′
NYCFC: Luis Barraza, Braian Cufré, Maxime Chanot, Thiago Martins, Tayvon Gray, James Sands, Santiago Rodríguez, Gabriel Pereira (Alfredo Morales 68′), Keaton Parks, Matías Pellegrini, Talles Magno (Thiago 80′)
D.C. United: Tyler Miller, Ruan (Jacob Greene 46′), Derrick Williams, Mohanad Jeahze (Matai Akinmboni 60′), Steven Birnbaum, Russell Canouse (Victor Pálsson 46′), Chris Durkin, Ted Ku-DiPietro, Mateusz Klich, Nigel Robertha (Pedro Santos 46′) (Yamil Asad 78′), Christian Benteke
NYCFC: Rodríguez 53′, Pellegrini 73′
D.C. United: Canouse 8′, Pálsson 49′, Jeahze 58′
Featured image courtesy of D.C. United, Hannah Wagner