Sunday, April 1, 2018

NYCFC Stay Unbeaten With Win In San Jose

Maxi Moralez after he scored a goal on Saturday night. USA Today Sports.

New York City Football Club overcame an early goal to pull out a 2-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on the road on Saturday night.

The win keeps NYCFC undefeated on the season, with a record of 4-1-0, with 13 points, in first place in the Eastern Conference.

NYCFC won this one without David Villa, who felt discomfort during the warm-ups, so he was pulled from the starting lineup.

San Jose got on the board in the third minute when Yefferson Quinatan headed one in to give them the 1-0 edge.
It would stay that way into the second half, when Anton Timmerholm, on a set up from Maxi Moralez, scored in the 49th minute. 
Moralez would get a goal of his own in the 60th, on a brilliant play by Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, who created an opening for Moralez to get in there and fire a strike to make it 2-1 NYCFC.
NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson made some brilliant saves down the stretch to preserve the comeback win.


On the match: “It was a difficult one. It was really tough, especially in the last 10 or 15 minutes. I think in the first half after we conceded the first goal, we played at times some really good football. In the second half when we came back, we were a bit more aggressive closing them down. I think it was a really good game of football, not just because we won the game, but because it was two good teams that wanted to win the game. Of course, I’m quite pleased and happy to go back to New York with a win.”
On the team’s reaction with two starters being late scratches: “It’s a lot of credit to the players because that wasn’t our plan in the beginning of the week. Ben Sweat traveled with us, but he wasn’t feeling well and has the flu, so we made a decision not to play him this morning. David Villa was feeling good, but after the warmup he was feeling something that couldn’t allow him to be on the field. I think the players that weren’t supposed to start the game prepared well mentally, and it’s a credit to them.”
On why David Villa did not play: “It’s too early to talk about it. We need a bit more time to go back to New York and do more exams before getting any kind of conclusion.”
On goalkeeper Sean Johnson’s performance: “Sean had a really good game like the rest of the team. You don’t come into this place and create chances, play well and win the game without the 11 players on the field doing really well. Of course Sean made some really important saves, but our team spirit and philosophy was really good today.”
On his message at halftime: “I was really pleased with the reaction we had. The message at halftime was that we had to keep playing. The last 25 minutes of the first half we controlled the game quite well. They were running quite well in the first half, so the message with the team was simple. It was that we have to keep playing. Keep playing and then we will create chances. We were really calm, we were composed and at the end we got the result we wanted.”
On Jo Inge Berget starting the game on short notice: “It’s not easy at all. He took a few minutes to get into the game, and after he was warm enough he worked hard and worked well. As a number 9 he was a really good target for us. After I put him as a winger he worked really well for the team. All the credit to him because mentally players when they don’t start they switch off a little bit. I’m really proud about this group of players in that they all support each other and they all want to play. An opportunity can come at any time during the game, so it’s good for me to have players that are really concerned.”

On the team’s performance: “Everyone who came out contributed. At the end there, they had about five guys across the line and we needed everybody to step up tonight and contribute whether it was aerially, keeping possession, springing a counter or just holding on defensively. Depth has been the name of the game for us and a lot of people stepped up today.”
On if the team has played well on the road because of their aggressive attacking style: “We go out and we try and win every game that we play. I think that’s why we play the game. That’s why we’re professionals you know, we wouldn’t play if we didn’t want to win. Just the mentality on the game whether we’re home or if we’re away, sticking to our principles, respecting the game and sticking to what we need to do to be successful is the most important thing.”
On how the younger players on the team have performed: “The depth that we have on the team is unbelievable. The additions that we added this past offseason with Ismael, Jesus, Cedric… Those guys are talented, and they made a really big impact and we will need those guys to step up over the course of the season."

On having back to back comeback wins: “The main thing today is that we keep fighting together. It was a similar game in the end due to the game in Kansas in the opening game. It was a tough game and they put the pressure pretty hard on us especially in the end of the game. They put a lot of long balls in the box but we kept on fighting as a team and it was a really tough one especially after the second goal. I’m really proud of the team today.”
On his goal: “We talked about it in half-time actually. One of our guys is going to block their guy, we tried it in the first half as well. The ball game to me and I got a great hit. I haven’t scored any goals like that in 25 years but now it’s a new tradition. I was inspired by Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) earlier today so I don’t want to get worse than him. I think my goal was harder. That’s how we do it in Sweden. “

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