First Touch

Julián Fernández On Target Again For NYCFC

NYCFC recorded an impressive 2-0 win against D.C United on Saturday night at Citi Field. The hosts took control of the game early on and that pressure continued in the 20th minute through Santiago Rodríguez’s opener. The lead would be doubled in second-half stoppage time after more brilliant play from Rodríguez teed up Julián Fernández to slam his second goal in as many games.  

NYCFC forward Julian Fernandez in action
NYCFC forward Julian Fernandez (11) dribbles away from D.C. United midfielder Martin Rodriguez (14) during the second half at Citi Field. Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NYCFC 2 DC United 0

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Queens was the setting on Saturday evening as New York City FC welcomed D.C. United to the World’s Borough.  

City were riding high after an impressive 2-0 win against the New England Revolution last time out, while D.C. United were eager to bounce back from an injury-time defeat to Orlando City SC at Audi Field.  

Head Coach Nick Cushing named an unchanged side from the one that overcame the Revs seven days ago and they picked up right where they left off.

First Half

A strong start saw several early opportunities arrive for City, with arguably their best coming in the 7th minute via the in-form Santiago Rodríguez.  

The Uruguayan created an overload down the left with Agustín Ojeda before cutting inside onto his right foot. Despite his eventual shot having more than enough power it lacked the accuracy to trouble Alex Bono in the D.C. goal.  

An opener seemed close, however, and in the 19th minute, Rodríguez would get his goal after a beautiful counterattack involving several City players. 

On hand to provide the decisive pass to Rodríguez was Hannes Wolf, who slid an inch-perfect through ball across the box to find the forward in space. This time he made no mistake and calmly rolled the ball past Bono to give City the lead.  

The Boys in Blue did not let up, and their pressing helped to create several half chances for Wolf and Mounsef Bakrar. Stood in their way, however, was a determined D.C. defense, which produced several last-ditch blocks to keep City’s advantage at one goal.  

At the other end, Christian Benteke registered one of D.C.’s best chances of the half after Jared Stroud found him in space with a deep cross to the back post.  

The Belgian striker rose highest and although he connected with the ball his header back across goal harmlessly skipped by Matt Freese’s post. 

NYCFC forward Santiago Rodriguez (10) celebrates after scoring. Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Second Half

City began the second half in much the same way as they finished first – pushing United back into their half as they chased a second goal.  

Cushing’s side came close to doubling their lead in the 56th minute after a brilliant first-time pass by Keaton Parks found Ojeda free on the left-hand side of the box.

The winger skipped by his defender and then tried to slide a shot under the goalkeeper but was denied by Bono with an impressive kick save.  

United were eager to find a way back into the game and Gabriel Pirani tried his best to produce an equalizer with a curled effort from the edge of the penalty area. On hand to deny him was Freese, who claimed the ball comfortably.  

Cushing introduced his first change of the evening in the 72nd minute as Ojeda departed the game in place of Julián Fernández. He would be joined on the field by Jovan Mijatović five minutes later as he replaced Bakrar.

City would continue to push for a second goal and they eventually found it in injury time with Rodríguez again influential in proceedings.  

A brilliant run down the right from the Uruguayan saw him evade several United defenders before his low cross into the box found Fernández in space to slam the ball home. 

That strike would prove to be the last notable act of the contest – confirming a second straight 2-0 home win for City in the space of seven days. 

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Next Game

New York City FC continue their homestand against Charlotte FC on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30pm ET at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York. Broadcast: Apple TV | Radio:

New York City FC supporters
New York City FC supporters Photo by: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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