|Maxi Moralez (second from left) celebrates his goal. USA Today Sports.|
New York City Football Club earned their fourth straight victory, as they used two late goals in the first half to earn a 2-0 win over Orlando City on the road Thursday night.
The shutout Orlando gives NYCFC and goalkeeper Sean Johnson a club record four-successive clean sheets.
They also stretched a club-record 398 minutes without conceding a goal streak.
This was NYCFC's first win on the road since March 31, and it put them back into second place in the Eastern Conference, as they improved to 13-4-4, with 43 points, just one point behind Atlanta (13-5-4, 44 points) for the top spot in the East, and two points ahead of the Red Bulls (13-2-5, 41 points).
NYCFC got on the board in the 40th minute when Maxi Moralez buried a rebound off a post shot from Rodney Wallace’s pressing created chaos at the top of the box.
This was Moralez's eighth goal of the season, tying him for the team lead.
In the first minute of extra time of the first half, Anton Tinnerholm came up with yet another goal from full-back, cutting inside and slotting into the far corner with finesse from the corner of the box.
This was Tinnerholm's fourth goal of the season, a NYCFC club record for a defender.
Tinneholm said of scoring goals in back-to-back games, "On goals in back to back games, "Different corners, but I came from the right and got a good ball this time from Maxi [Moralez] and pretend to shoot, and then I got the ball on my left foot and put it in the left hand corner. So, felt good and was important for us that we got the goal late in the first half. The other one against Columbus (on July 14) was also late in the second half, was also important. Yeah, it was similar goals, but different corners."
Orlando City's best chance of the night came in the 62nd minute when Dom Dwyer got off a big shot from just outside the box, but Johnson raced out to make the save.
Johnson said of the big road win, “I thought it was a really big win for us. I think in the moment where teams around us are also winning games I think it’s important that we came down here and looked to get three points, especially having a little bit of a tough time on the road this year. But I thought it was an overall great performance. Obviously some things we have to work on but it’s good to be able to evaluate games being on the winning side.”
Johnson said of earning another clean sheet, “Honestly, I just want to keep going. The guys in front of me put up an unbelievable effort. You look at from the first half, Maximiliano [Moralez] makes a really big block, countless blocks in front of goal from Ringy [Alexander Ring], from Alex [Callens], from everybody in front of me. Credit has to go to everybody in front of me as well, it’s not just me making saves. It’s guys blocking shots, limiting opportunities, guys going and doing a lot of working going up going back. Those are the guys logging miles so I’m sure everybody will take pride in an achievement like that but, like I said, there’s a lot of season left to be played.”
NYCFC Head Coach Domenec Torrent said of the road win, "I’m not happy tonight. We were able to win but I’m not happy with our performance because I can’t play that way. If you want to win the MLS, even when they play with 10 players, we play bad, really bad. I say in the second half I don’t like to defend deep. I repeat a few times. But I don’t know what happened. Maybe it’s because we won 2-0 in the first half, I don’t know, but we have to improve, improve a lot. Believe me. We have no time for the next game. But next week we have to practice a lot defend high because it’s the best way for me, in my opinion, to defend, especially when you are able to win 2-0.”
Torrent said of his displeasure with NYCFC defending,“I’m happy just that we are able to win the game, especially with the effort of our players again. It’s not easy to play when they attack all the time but it’s not the best way to play. We have to create one style here. I want to create a style. It’s not the best way to play the second half. The first half, maybe we played 20 minutes, okay it’s not bad because we keep the ball, we have 20 minutes of control in the game but after that we played very, very bad.”