New York City Football Club Goals: Moralez 12', Héber 75'
New York City Football Club welcomed Inter Miami to the Bronx on Saturday as they aimed to extend their unbeaten run to six games. The hosts opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Maxi Moralez fired in a low effort from a narrow angle to register his first goal of the season. The Boys in Blue doubled their lead in the 75th minute after a cross from Malte Amundsen was converted by a poacher's finish from Héber. That would be enough to confirm a 2-0 victory for NYCFC over Inter Miami.
A warm summer evening at Yankee Stadium brought together two teams keen to build on favorable results of late in NYCFC and Inter Miami.
The visitors had produced a 3-2 comeback against Charlotte FC in their last MLS outing, while NYCFC had themselves enjoyed a memorable Hudson River Derby success against Red Bulls to stretch their unbeaten run to five games.
Interim Head Coach Nick Cushing named an unchanged side from the one that faced Red Bulls, while Miami's Phil Neville made two changes; introducing Kieran Gibbs for Damion Lowe, and Gonzalo Higuain for Leonardo Campana.
A bright start from NYCFC saw Maxi Moralez register the team's first effort on goal in the 11th minute. The veteran playmaker attempted a cheeky lobbed effort from 25 yards out that ultimately ended up on the roof of the net.
The little magician would not be denied sixty seconds later, however, after latching onto a loose ball on the left side of the penalty area and firing a low shot between the legs of the goalkeeper from a narrow angle.
It was almost two in the 18th minute after Taty Castellanos chased down a poor back pass from Christian McVey. The forward only narrowly missed out on taking the ball from the goalkeeper, and it was cleared away.
The visitors sparked their attacking efforts into life in the 19th minute when a bursting run from deep by Robert Taylor allowed him a look at goal from the right-hand side of the penalty area. His effort was low, and hard, but ultimately dragged wide of Sean Johnson's goal.
Castellanos - leading in the Golden Boot race - was keen to add his name to the score sheet and thought he'd been successful in the 33rd minute after turning in a low Malte Amundsen cross from eight yards out. Unfortunately, he was denied by VAR deeming him offside.
As the end of the half approached there was some beautiful combination play between Moralez and Castellanos. The move started with a chest control into the path of Moralez. He then clipped a pass into Taty on the right-hand side of the box at which point he unleashed a ferocious volley that ended up only narrowly over the bar.
The second half brought with it no changes for NYCFC, but an early opportunity to take the lead. A well-worked corner routine ended with pinball in the box before the ball eventually found its way to Nicolás Acevedo and he fired a shot that was deflected just wide of the right-hand post.
In the 60th minute, Cushing turned to his bench for the first time to introduce fresh legs. Departing the game to raucous applause was Talles Magno and Castellanos. In their place arrived Gabriel Pereira and compatriot Héber.
They would be followed onto the field ten minutes later by teammates Justin Haak and Thiago Andrade. The pair joined the game in order for Moralez and Acevedo to leave the field after another strong performance.
NYCFC would find a second goal in the 75th minute and it was one of Cushing's substitutes that converted in the form of Héber. The goal came as a consequence of an overload down the left that freed up Malte Amundsen to cross. His low delivery took a deflection and skipped up to the back post where the Brazilian was on hand to apply a poacher's finish.
Not to be outdone, Thiago Andrade was the next man to test Miami's goalkeeper. The forward picked up the ball wide left and unleashed a ferocious effort with his right foot that Drake Callender did well to parry away from danger.
Héber would again come close to finding the back of the net in injury time after sneaking into the box and connecting with a cross, but his attempt could not find the target. That would be the final act of note and confirmed a 2-0 victory for NYCFC over Inter Miami.
Next up for New York City Football Club is a meeting with CF Montréal at Stade Saputo on Saturday, July 30. Kickoff is scheduled 7:30PM EST (YES Network/NYCFC.com/Radio).