NYCFC arrived in Texas with three points on their mind after winning 4-0 against the Colorado Rapids back in the Bronx last Sunday.
Head Coach Patrick Vieira made one change to his XI for this one, bringing back Anton Tinnerholm in place of Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, selecting three central defenders, including Alex Ring.
The Boys in Blue picked right up where they left off against Colorado at the BBVA Compass Stadium, taking the lead through David Villa, who notched his 405th career goal with his first shot on 6′.
It followed a cross from Maxi Moralez which was cleared only as far as El Guaje, who it let rip the first-time with a stunning, thunderous volley to the bottom corner.
That made it eight for the season, tying Villa at the top of the early MLS Golden Boot running.
The joy wouldn’t last for long, as just a few minutes later, Yangel Herrera was on the end of a tough challenge and was subsequently stretchered off the field of play after a lengthy stoppage – Tommy McNamara came on to replace him.
Sean Johnson was then required to be at his very best in the following minutes – which he was: making two incredible saves to keep City’s noses in front.
However, there was nothing Johnson could do on 21′ when Houston equalized through Alejandro Fuenmayor’s back post header from a Houston set piece.
1-1 was the scoreline which held until the half-time break of an entertaining, intense game.
After the interval, Johnson was the first of the goalkeepers called into action, making a solid near-post stop on 47′ and another stunning rush to block at the striker’s feet just before the hour.
Roared on by the home crowd, Houston came on strong in the final half an hour, turning the scoreline around on 68′ as Tomas Martinez pounced on an errant pass out of the back, tapping home a simple finish.
The game was slipping through City’s fingers behind this rally from the home side but Vieira’s men found a second wind, aided by substitutes Jesus Medina and Tajouri-Shradi.
Jo Inge Berget and Villa both had opportunities but Houston punished New York on the break, with Alberth Elis tapping in one at the 79′ on the rebound from yet another world class Johnson save.
3-1 was how it stayed, meaning City went down to a third defeat of the young campaign.
- Ronald Matarrita made his 50th appearance for NYCFC
- It was his 50th appearance in all competitions and 50th MLS appearance
- David Villa scored his eight goal of the season, tying him in the Golden Boot rankings
- It was NYCFC’s first-ever defeat to the Houston Dynamo (W1 L1 D2)
Houston Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera
(on the game vs. NYCFC) “From the beginning we knew that we had a tough game in front of us with one of the best teams in MLS at the moment. We wanted to be at the level, we wanted to test ourselves against New York City FC and right away they capitalize on, not a mistake, I wouldn’t say a mistake, but they had one option and (FW) David Villa put it in right away. So that showed and that proved that we were right. They were a dangerous, tough team and a very good team, but I think little by little we took the game, we were more solid, we were settling into the game and now we had the possibilities to create chances; and to be honest with you, their goalkeeper was outstanding. He’s a very good goalkeeper, but we tied it in the first half and then in the second half we talked about continuing to be solid. We made some adjustments in terms of our shape and it was good because the pressure came in and we had the possibility to score two goals, but it could’ve been more for us, so it was good.
(on New York City FC changing formation and how he prepared for them) “Yes, we thought that they might be changing a little bit because we have a lot of speed up front. It’s not a secret right now. It’s not a secret and everyone knows what we have up front, that we have speed. So, we knew they were going to adjust to a line of five when the No. 8, Ring, when they were defending he was coming in to play that role and then when they had the ball he stepped up a little bit. So, we were adjusting and working on that. The first half maybe we were a little bit spread out and we let them pass and receive the ball too much and we weren’t doing a good job, but when we squeezed ourselves and we put the team a little bit more narrow in the middle; they had to force passes and we had the possibility to put better pressure and then win the ball for us to go and attack and try to create options.”
Houston Dynamo FW Alberth Elis
(on the victory tonight) “This is one of the best teams in the league and glory to God for leading us to victory tonight. The heat played a role too – that helped us, and we know it. They come from a much colder climate and we had to capitalize on that.”
(on what he thought when New York City FW David Villa scored in the sixth minute) “We knew this would be a tough game and that was multiplied when he scored so early. We had to turn things around and glory to God for helping us secure a draw in the first half. The heat played a role in the second half and we felt it too – but we are used to this, so we had to take advantage and we did.”
Houston Dynamo DF Alejandro Fuenmayor (translated from Spanish)
(on the victory tonight) “I am very happy that we won, happy to earn three points at home in a very important game that we needed. We need to accumulate points and we’ve done that recently in Chicago and we brought that momentum home to earn three key points. I’m happy that I was able to score, but this game is a tad bittersweet because a compatriot (New York MF Yangel Herrera) left the game early due to an injury.”
New York City FC GK Sean Johnson
(on his save at the 20th minute) “It’s in the moment. You react to it. That’s what we train for every single day of the week, to do what we can to help the team as goalkeepers. It’s just what the moment called for.”
(on his overall thoughts after game) “The game went from 1-1, and then we went down 2-1, and at 3-1 it was pretty much done and dusted. That was the storyline of the game, we were in it and then it got away from us.”
New York City FC MF Maxi Morález (translated from Spanish)
(on his overall thoughts after the game) “It obviously a tough game. It’s not easy to lose like this, especially after the great first half we had were we could have score a couple of more goals. Then, in the second half they were sharper than we were and that’s how they got to score on us. The second half was tough for us; we were always trying, but we were not sharp.”
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