New York were hunting for a second successive win on Saturday night as they welcomed D.C. United to Yankee Stadium. A 17th-minute goal from Talles Magno opened the scoring after a slick team move involving Keaton Parks and Braian Cufré. NYCFC doubled their lead 19 minutes later after Santiago Rodríguez was played in down the right to calmly slot the ball home. A second-half header from Christian Benteke reduced the deficit before Thiago Andrade restored the two-goal cushion. Steve Birnbaum would find the net from a corner to make for a nervy final few minutes.
NYCFC 3 DC United 2
Match Report from NYCFC.com
Returning to Yankee Stadium for the second week in a row NYCFC were keen to build on their first win of the season last time out against Inter Miami CF. Standing across from Nick Cushing on Saturday night was Wayne Rooney. The former England international has guided his side to an identical 1-1-1 record after the opening three games of the campaign.
The game started at a quick pace, and when the ball did settle it did so with the Boys in Blue. Talles Magno was the first man to put the ball in the net, but he was denied by an offside flag.
The Brazilian thought he had been denied for a second time in the 17th minute after a defence-splitting pass by Keaton Parks and a low cross from Braian Cufré found him free in the box to convert. Once again the assistant’s flag was raised, but following consultation with the Video Assistant Referee the decision was correctly reversed and the goal awarded.
NYCFC were now moving at full speed. Their play was quick and incisive, and they would add a second before the half was over. This time Santi Rodríguez – who had been a nuisance all half – found space down the right and was played through by Gabriel Pereira. After settling himself, Rodríguez calmly slotted the ball home to claim his first goal of the campaign in the 36th minute.
The second half saw no changes for NYCFC but a trio of substitutions and an early goal for the visitors – Christian Benteke heading past Luis Barraza via a cross from the left-hand side.
In response, Talles Magno riggled free down the left before firing off an effort that the goalkeeper was able to handle. The defensive unit was engaged not long after following a slaloming run by Theodore Ku-Dipietro, which was eventually stopped by Thiago Martins.
When the Black and Red did manage to engineer a shot in goal Luis Barraza was able to get himself in the way. The shot-stopper clawing away a cross before smothering the rebound to keep NYCFC’s advantage intact.
Cushing introduced his first change in the 68th minute by replacing Pereira with Alfredo Morales. He would follow that up in the 80th minute by withdrawing Talles Magno in place of Thiago Andrade. Andrade would offer pace in behind as well as constant pressing when NYCFC were not in the ball. He would be rewarded in the 88th minute when a quick counter-attack would allow Rodríguez to slip him in to poke the ball past the goalkeeper.
The goal would not be the final act of the game, however. That would go to defender Steve Birnbaum with a headed goal from a corner. He would earn the final chance of the game deep into stoppage time, but an almost identical set piece situation did not result in a goal, but rather his effort going wide of the right post.
That would confirm a second home win of the season for NYCFC.
Next up for New York City Football Club is a meeting with Houston Dynamo at Shell Energy Stadium on Saturday, March 25th, at 8:30PM ET.