The Boogie Down Bronx was the setting for New York City Football Club’s clash with New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon.
Interim Head Coach Nick Cushing made two changes to the side that tied with Atlanta United last time out – introducing Tayvon Gray and Thiago Martins for Anton Tinnerholm and Maxime Chanot.
NYCFC started the game on the front foot and attempted to test the space in behind the Revs defense early on with some direct passing.
That clear sign of intent produced an early reward when in the 9th minute Talles Magno’s driving run down the left saw him upended by Andrew Farrell in the penalty box. The teenager dusted himself down before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom right corner to give NYCFC the lead.
With the deadlock broken the home side wasted no time in trying to add a second. A well-worked corner in the 14th minute allowed Taty Castellanos a free header 12 yards out, but he could not put it on goal.
The Revs managed to equalize in the 19th minute when a low cross by Sebastien Lletget found Gustavo Bou in space to score.
The 31st minute saw NYCFC earn a second penalty of the afternoon after a coming together between Henry Kessler and Castellanos saw the latter fouled. Unfortunately, Castellanos could not convert from the spot as his effort was turned around the post by Djordje Petrović.
Not to be outdone, Sean Johnson produced a sensational stop on the line five minutes later to deny Brandon Bye a go-ahead goal for the Revs.
An action-packed first half took another sharp turn in the 41st minute when Farrell, having conceded the first penalty, was judged to have pulled back Castellanos when he was through on goal - the defender conceding a penalty and earning a red card in the process.
This time Castellanos would not be denied and his ferocious penalty put NYCFC a goal up heading into the break.
Nick Cushing opted to make one change for the second 45 minutes, with Gabriel Pereira entering the game in place of Maxi Moralez.
The winger almost added his name to the scoresheet inside two minutes after a brilliant run from deep put him through on goal, but his side-footed effort went wide of the post.
Thankfully, Pereira wouldn’t have to wait long for a goal. The move started when the winger latched onto a loose ball and playing Castellanos in on goal. His effort was well saved, but on hand to scoop it up was Pereira, who after rounding the goalkeeper calmly slotted it home.
New England were still proving a threat in the final third and on the hour mark Lletget crashed a curled effort against the crossbar before it was cleared to safety.
The 67th minute saw Cushing turn to his bench again to introduce Justin Haak and Thiago Andrade for Nicolás Acevedo and Talles Magno.
Castellanos was keen to bolster his goal tally and in the 75th minute, he curled an effort that deflected just past Petrović’s post.
Somewhat against the run of play New England pulled one back in the 77th minute after DeJuan Jones squared it for Bou to convert from close range.
The hosts would re-establish their two-goal advantage five minutes later, however, after a rapid breakaway allowed Castellanos to convert the rebound from a Thiago Andrade shot.
A defensive change was required for the hosts in the wake of the goal as Maxime Chanot entered in place of Thiago Martins. He would be joined on the field by Héber in the 89th minute as he replaced Santiago Rodríguez.
That would be the final notable act of the game and confirmed a big home win for the Boys in Blue.