NYCFC were hoping for some Easter joy as they welcomed Real Salt Lake to Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon. NYCFC took an early lead when Taty Castellanos headed home from a Santiago Rodríguez corner in the 9th minute. They doubled their lead in the 15th minute when Talles Magno fed Thiago Andrade to round Zac MacMath and slot home. There was time for a third before the half-time whistle after Castellanos converted from the penalty spot.
The second half would reflect an almost identical pattern, with first Thiago registering his second of the afternoon in the 55th minute before Castellanos secured his hat-trick from the penalty spot two minutes later. There was still time for Castellanos to score a fourth goal and hand NYCFC a six-goal advantage in the 80th minute. That would prove to be the game’s final goal and hand NYCFC a big 6-0 home win.
New York City Football Club’s busy week continued on Sunday afternoon as Real Salt Lake made their way to the Bronx. Head Coach Ronny Deila made one change to the team that battled valiantly against Seattle Sounders midweek with Keaton Parks replacing Nicolás Acevedo in the engine room.
The Boys in Blue started the game with bundles of energy and they should have taken the lead in the 8thminute after an overlapping Malte Amundsen stood the ball up for Thiago Andrade. He powered a header towards goal from six yards out, but a sprawling Zac MacMath was able to brilliantly claw the ball behind for a corner.
The hosts would not be denied for long, however, and the resulting corner from Santiago Rodríguez found Taty Castellanos to head home for his first MLS goal of the 2022 campaign. Keen to extend their lead, NYCFC were finding dangerous opportunities on quick transitions and they did eventually double their advantage in the 15th minute.
This time it would be Talles Magno that provided the creativity after receiving the ball wide left. His inch-perfect pass found compatriot Thiago Andrade running in behind and he rounded MacMath to make it 2-0. RSL were slowly entering the contest, and their attempts to press forced some dangerous turnovers in the NYCFC defensive third.
In the 24th minute, that avenue would allow RSL to find Bobby Wood in space at the top of the box, but his effort was beaten away by Sean Johnson. On the half-hour mark, it was NYCFC’s turn to force a dangerous turnover as Rodríguez pounced on an RSL defender before getting a shot away from the edge of the area that MacMath saved.
Pushing for a third goal before half-time, they would be granted the perfect opportunity from the penalty spot in the 40th minute after a high boot caught Parks in the face from a corner. Stepping up confidently Castellanos calmly dispatched the ball to the right and past MacMath to hand NYCFC a sizable advantage going in at half-time.
The second period brought no changes for the home side but it did see the game’s fourth goal inside the opening 10 minutes of action. A sweeping counter-attack in the 54th minute involving Rodríguez, Talles Magno, and Castellanos, allowed the Argentine to find Thiago Andrade overlapping in space. The Brazilian took a settling touch before firing it past MacMath.
There was barely time to breathe when NYCFC found a fifth goal of the afternoon after a late tackle on Castellanos in the box handed him the chance to secure his hat-trick. After dusting himself down he once again dispatched the kick to make it 5-0.
That goal would also serve as the cue for Deila to make two changes as he introduced new signing Gabriel Pereira and Acevedo in place of Rodríguez and Alfredo Morales. At the other end, a chipped pass in the 67th minute found RSL’s Damir Kreilach in behind but his glancing header was well saved by Johnson.
An injury to Thiago Martins on that play would signify the end of his afternoon, and he would be part of a triple substitution alongside Talles Magno and Parks in the 71st minute. Replacing them would be Vuk Latinovich, Gedion Zelalem, and Héber.
Seven minutes later NYCFC almost had their sixh when an overload down the left allowed Castellanos to play a low cross to Pereira at the back post – his effort brilliantly turned away by MacMath on the line. Castellanos would eventually add a sixth goal a minute later after a poor clearance by RSL’s goalkeeper landed at the striker’s feet – his effort taking a deflection before looping over MacMath.
RSL’s attempts to find a consolation goal continued right until the 89th minute when a corner afforded them a chance inside the six yard box – Johnson smothering the attempt. Héber thought he added his name to the scoresheet in injury time after pouncing on a loose ball in the box, but referee Ismael Elfath disallowed it for a perceived foul on the goalkeeper.
That would prove to be the final act of the game and confirmed an emphatic 6-0 victory for NYCFC over RSL.
Next up for New York City Football Club is a meeting with Toronto FC on Sunday, April 24. Kickoff at Citi Field is scheduled for 5:00PM EST (TV schedule).