New York City FC (NYCFC) came into Audi Field in Washington DC as the clear underdog in their match against DC United. They had not won one game all season, drawing five and losing one. They got the job done fairly convincingly, beating DC United, the first place team in the Eastern Conference, 2-0.
NYCFC were extremely aggressive throughout the game and created numerous chances on goal. Their 3-4-3 formation was an important factor in their ability to push the ball up the field due to the extra attacking power it provides.
The match was fairly quiet for most of the first half other than a curling chance from Mitriță of NYCFC that went just wide of the post and a skied header by Wayne Rooney from the edge of the six yard box. New York’s Héber also botched a one-on-one chance against Bill Hamid before his teammate Alexandru Mitriță found his way into the penalty area and slotted a rolling shot through some uninspiring DC defenders and into the bottom right corner of the net in the 35th minute.
The game began to unravel for DC United after that. Chris Durkin and Leonardo Jara both earned yellow cards just minutes before halftime. Jara’s card came on an unnecessary foul in the box against Anton Tinnerholm who made a long run for a through ball and ended up in a one versus three with no feasible shot at goal. The resulting penalty was missed by Maxi Moralez, who had the DC keeper beaten but sent his shot off of the right post.
The second half began where NYCFC left off, with Moralez being denied by a goal post on searching strike to the bottom left corner of the goal. New York City’s striker, Héber, made up for his missed opportunity in the first half by shooting a short volley through the legs of Bill Hamid for his first goal at NYCFC
Both teams were unable to come up with additional goals for the rest of the match which ended as a 2-0 win for NYCFC, and their first of the season. This win was well deserved by NYCFC who had drawn five of their first six games of the season, most of which they believe they could have won. Their quick attack proved to be difficult for DC to handle and ended up overpowering their opponents. If NYCFC can start putting away more of their chances on goal, they will likely see many more wins and begin to look like a legitimate title contender.
As for DC United, the match illuminated more of their glaring defensive issues. Their backline looked slow and very much out of the match from the start, and the two goals they conceded could probably have been stopped if they had been less lackluster. If DC wants to stay at the top of the table they will need to address their problems in the back.
Pablo Bayona Sapag / Jisung Kim for @clubeleven in partnership with TSO.