Sunday, June 3, 2018

NYCFC, Led By Ismael Double, Downs Orlando City

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi celebrating his first-half goal. USA Today Sports.

New York City Football Club shutout Orlando City FC, 3-0, on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium.

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi led the way with a pair of goals for NYCFC, who improved to 8-3-3, with 27 points on the season.

With the win, NYCFC is now back in second place in the Eastern Conference, just two points behind Atlanta United FC.

NYCFC has some momentum going into their US Open Cup fourth round match with the Red Bulls on Wednesday night. The Red Bulls lost in New England, 2-1, on Saturday night.

Tajouri-Shradi put NYCFC on the board in the 35th minute, when he got a feed from Anton Timmerholm on the right side of the box, and he buried it to make tit 1-0.

It stayed that way until the half, and Orlando City had a golden chance to tie it in the 48th minute.

NYCFC defender Alexander Callens committed a foul, giving Orlando City a penalty kick.

Sacha Kljestan took the PK, and it rang off the right post and bounced out of play.

This brought a roar from the crowd, as they still have it in for the former Red Bull.

Orlando City SC Head Coach Jason Kreis said of how the missed penalty kick changed the game, “Yeah, I think it did. But I still thought there were some moments after that where we still got in around them. But, you know, right now we need somebody to step forward and score the goals for us. To be decisive in the final third.”

In the 79th minute, Tajouri-Shradi got his second goal of the night when he whipped in a ball from a free-kick and the ball skimmed its ways through multiple bodies and into the net.

NYCFC put the game away in the 87th when Maxi Moralez scored a goal following consecutive crossbar hits by Jesus Medina and Villa to make it 3-0, which was the final.

Maxi Moralez cashing in on his chance late to make it 3-0 NYCFC. USA Today Sports.

NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira said of the win, “I think it's always good to win the game, of course I think the 3-0 is too harsh on Orlando because they had chances to score a few goals and i will say the 3 nil doesn't really reflect the game. I can understand that Jason (Kreis) can be disappointed but at times you have to have some luck and the luck was on our side and I will take it because it happened during the season where we played some fantastic football and we didn't get the win but today the luck was on our side. With determination and patience we managed to score three goals and it’s good for us.”

Villa was not in the starting lineup, and he entered in the 65th minute before notching the assist on Moralez's goal.

Vieira on keeping Villa on the bench in preparation for the Red Bulls on Wednesday, “What I wanted to see today was the different combination of players up front, I wanted to see the relationship between Jo (Inge Berget), Ismael, Jesus (Medina). I know that David is a top player I know what I can get from him so just for this game I wanted to try some things and there was some good and some bad but at the end I think when you have quality players that we have up front it allows me to play and make some tough decisions and this is part of my job and it’s not easy. It’s not easy to leave David out today, it wasn't easy to leave Ismael, Jesus and Maxi and the players have to get used to it because I will rotate the players.”

Tajouri-Shradi now has seven goals on the year in his debut season with NYCFC, and he said of his big night, “I’m very happy about my goals of course, but I’m more happy that we could take the three points today because this was an important game for us. We wanted to take the three points because we are playing in a very important week, so in a few days is the next important game and we want to win that, of course.”

Vieira said of Villa changing his mentality coming off the bench, “A top player will never accept to be on the bench that is why he has had the career he’s had. I have good relationship with David we talk a lot and as a Coach I have to think about the team first before I think about the individual. It's a tough decision but this is part of my job and David, Maxime and all the players who are on the bench are not happy to be on the bench and I would be upset if I find out that players are on the bench are happy so this is what I want. I want them to get frustrated when they don’t play, to come in the next day and show their frustration and work even harder and this is how the team will do well. This is what I want you to understand, we will win as a team and we will lose as a team.”

NYCFC are a perfect 6-0-0 at Yankee Stadium this season, extending their franchise-record home winning streak to seven matches.

Vieira said of playing well at Yankee Stadium, “At home we have been really strong, we have a really good support at home. I think the fans today made the difference, we went through a difficult period where we need their support and they gave it to us tonight. I think that was a huge help for us because it was a really difficult game for us.”

Kreis said of how his team played, “What’s there to say that hasn’t been said already. Another game where I feel like we’re doing a lot of really good things, but in the decisive moments, we were getting killed. Allowing the goal in the first half, I think they were really in control. Then there was one moment where it’s one-v-one and we slip in the penalty box and allow them a wide open shot. And then I think we go on and do a lot more positive stuff and get the penalty kick and then we don’t take the penalty kick. And then it’s late in the game and we’re pushing for things. We’re trying to catch the game and get caught out a couple of times. For me, the score lines... losing 3-0 and losing 1-0 are the same thing. We’re still just looking for those moments of decisiveness when we really need them.”

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