New York City FC secured back-to-back wins on Saturday evening with a 2-0 victory against the Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park.
NYCFC started the game brightly and had their first shot on target after just 44 seconds. Taty Castellanos made a smart run in behind the Union’s back line, before cutting inside and driving a shot straight at Andre Blake.
They would find a breakthrough with their next chance, however, thanks to a lightning counterattack. It began when Maxi Moralez won the ball back and was able to carry it into the opposition half. He then passed it on to Jesús Medina, and after spotting Anton Tinnerholm on the overlap slid the Swede in.
Tinnerholm quickly returned the favor and played it back to an unmarked Medina – the Paraguayan notching his sixth goal in his last eight MLS games.
The Union struggled to get going during the early exchanges, and that allowed NYCFC to establish a rhythm in possession. The game then took a drastic turn in the 16th minute when Jose Martinez was dismissed for violent conduct. The Boys in Blue picked up their first booking of the game a few minutes later when Alfredo Morales clashed with Sergio Santos.
NYCFC were starting to make the most of the man advantage, and at the heart of things was Moralez. He instigated City’s next opportunity by shifting it out wide to Gudi Thórarinsson, and it was his cross that found the on-rushing Castellanos at the back post, but he was unable to keep his effort down.
Castellanos was again given the chance to find the scoresheet in the 27th minute – but his header from a corner had too much power on it. Moralez then thought he had notched the team’s second moments later, only for Blake to tip his deflected effort over.
The Boys in Blue maintained their intensity as the half progressed and next it was Medina that fired a shot wide of Blake’s goal. In the 42nd minute, there was a rare attack for the hosts as Santos connected with a freekick, but his effort went comfortably wide of Sean Johnson’s right-hand post.
The second period started with a similar speed and intensity and saw Moralez once again try to beat Blake from distance. The diminutive playmaker fired a fierce drive at the Union goal, only for Blake to acrobatically tip it over.
NYCFC continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession, and in the 65th minute that saw them secure a second goal thanks to Castellanos. The Argentine, denied several times in the first half, pounced on a poor back pass and then rounded Blake before finishing the chance with a rabona.
With the second goal came the first change from Ronny Deila – Alfredo Morales subbing out for Ismael Tajouri-Shradi after a solid shift in midfield. Medina came close to adding a third in the 75th minute, only for his curling effort to zip past Blake’s post.
Deila then turned to his bench again and introduced Nicolás Acevedo and Malte Amundsen for Keaton Parks and Thórarinsson. NYCFC continued to push for a third, but efforts from Tinnerholm and Castellanos failed to hit the target.
NYCFC's final two changes came in injury time as Medina and Callens subbed out in place of Andres Jasson and Vuk Latinovich. The Boys in Blue saw the final moments out and secured a comfortable 2-0 victory at Subaru Park.