It was a near-instant return to the scene of Sunday’s thrilling Derby victory over Red Bulls, with Montreal Impact providing the opposition for the second of three Bronx bouts this week.
As a result of the back-to-back games, Domènec Torrent made changes to his XI, with Tommy McNamara returning to the lineup in place of the injured Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, while Sebastien Ibeagha came in for Maxime Chanot.
Otherwise, it was the same team which started the Hudson River Derby and the boys picked up where they left off on Sunday, immediately setting about pinning the Canadian visitors back into their defensive third.
McNamara was the leading man on the left side, ghosting into space and almost giving his team an early lead on 6’ with a measured sidefooted shot towards the bottom corner which just flashed past the post.
Tommy was in the thick of it again five minutes later when he raced onto a through ball from false 9 Maxi Moralez, touching it past the goalkeeper before he fell to the ground.
There was definite contact from the Impact ‘keeper Evan Bush but the referee decided that McNamara was already on his way down and showed a yellow card to the NYCFC no.15, rather than pointing to the spot.
That early excitement gave way to a slightly flat 20 minute spell until the halftime whistle, with City popping the ball around nicely but lacking the incision to truly worry Remi Garde on the Montreal bench.
The second half began as the first did, with NYCFC pressing the issue and creating chances, with Moralez growing in influence.
Alexander Callens thumped a header towards goal on 49 which beat the goalkeeper but not the woodwork, while Moralez brought the very best out of Bush when NYC forced the overload on 55’, leaving the Argentine through on goal.
All signs said it was a matter of a time before the Boys in Blue took the lead and when the goal came, it was a goal of the highest quality from Medina.
The Paraguayan youngster picked it up on the edge of the box and thumped an unstoppable drive into the net with the ball moving so quickly that Bush didn’t even dive.
That goal put pay to any anxiety for the home side and they didn’t look back, scoring two more before the night was out.
First, second half substitute Ronald Matarrita chipped in a beauty from an acute angle on 65’, before fellow substitute Jonathan Lewis ended the match as a contest with a header for his third goal for the club.
All in all, a hugely satisfying night for NYCFC ahead of Saturday’s showdown with the Columbus Crew, back in the BX.
- NYCFC are still unbeaten at Yankee Stadium in 2018 (W9 D1)
- Tommy McNamara started for the second time this season
- Ronald Matarrita scored his second goal of the season and third for NYCFC
- Jonathan Lewis scored his first goal of the season and third for the club
- Jesus Medina scored his third goal for NYCFC
NEW YORK CITY FC HEAD COACH DOMÈNEC TORRENT
On how everyone’s fitness is looking after the derby:
“It wasn’t easy for us because we played two games in three days, but I was impressed by the performance of our players. Our players seemed physically better than the Montreal players. I congratulate my players because what they did was amazing, but the most important thing when that happens is to pass the ball and keep the ball.
On missing forwards and players stepping in..
If you keep the ball, you can play simple. I’m very happy for them because I know it’s not easy, especially in that moment because we have three or four players injured, but they played amazing.”
On Jonathan Lewis coming off the bench in an impact role…
“Jonathan is a fast player and has a lot of intensity in every single ball. He’s a fighter. When the opponents defended deep, he has more issues. I prefer [taking it] step-by-step because he’s a young player, and I am here, my staff is here, to improve the young players. When the game is open, it is the right moment for Jonathan because the quality for Jonathan is to run behind them. But step by step he has to improve. He’s a young player. I’m very happy with him. The most important thing, as a coach, is when a player plays 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, is focusing on that. Right now, Jonathan is focusing every single second. I’m very happy for the team and especially for him.”
On what his message was to the players at halftime:
“The message was that we have to change a little bit, especially when we play with two strikers. Our intention was for our strikers to go back and our wingers up. The intention was to create a space behind the midfielders. After ten minutes, we were able to create the spaces and we were more comfortable in the field, so we can make ten, eleven, twelve passes and that’s very important for us. That is the way I prefer to play, and the message was that we needed to improve because that’s the reason why we play with three near to Rodney. Our intention is to play inside, not outside and change a little bit in that way in the second half. I said, you can play much better than Montreal right now, but we have to attack with more intensity and play inside, play inside all the time. Two special players for me right now are Jesus and Maxi. It’s very difficult for them to lose the ball and their intention for us was to play with Jesus, play all the time with Maxi, and our wingers go inside and play behind them.”
NEW YORK CITY FC FORWARD JONATHAN LEWIS
On getting more playing time…
“It’s great now that I have more confidence, and the manager keeps putting me out there. Obviously I gotta keep working hard and playing as well as I can when I get out there.”
On getting the goal…
“I wouldn’t say I figured it out, but I definitely think I’m learning and processing new information. I’m learning from my teammates on how to be mature, so when I’m not getting my shot to play, I’m learning from the guys and seeing what they do and I what I can bring differen.t”
On goal giving confidence going forward…
“Whether I’m coming off the bench or I’m starting I’m trying to get goals. For the rest of the season I want to try and score and try to stay fit and do whatever [the coaches] need me to do.”
NEW YORK CITY FC MIDFIELDER JESUS MEDINA
On staying prepared for all the games on hand this week…
“Well we knew as a group coming in it was going to be a tough week with three games to be played. However, we just finished the second game and tomorrow we shift our focus to next game on Saturday. We have to rest as much as we can so we can arrive well on Saturday.”
On his role with the team…
“Good, I feel good. I think today I was able to take some pressure off myself by finding a goal and I feel comfortable and good with the coaching staff and the group. I think we have a good group that works together to also help each other individually.”
NEW YORK CITY DEFENDER RONALD MATARRITA
On the goal…
“I saw that the keeper was coming out towards the front post, so I tried to put it over him towards the far post and things worked out and I’m very happy that I was able to contribute to the team.”
On the teams recent play…
Yes, it’s important the work that the group is doing. Honestly, we feel like one of the strongest teams in the league. We’ve been working really hard towards that and little by little as the games go on you’re starting to see the ideas coach has with us and we as a group have to go out and do it right on the field”
On the team rotations as of lately…
“Yes, that’s the consistency that a team has to have, no matter which players are on the field they have to be willing to give 100% and be there for the team. I’m happy with the attitude of the team and we’ll try to continue along the same line”
Feelings on the big win…
“That was the idea that the team had to win these big games. So far, out of these three games, we have six [points] out of the nine. That’s what we’re all here for to continue playing together and continue getting those victories.”
On if Matarrita has been practicing scoring…
“I hope you guys try to get to know me more, I always try to score goals but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter, it’s a team victory and for the betterment of the team.”
NEW YORK CITY FC DEFENDER ANTON TINNERHOLM
Thoughts on today’s match…
“We showed today [it’s not an issue] for us to play two games in three days. So now there’s a tough game on Saturday but today we showed character and we showed we were a better team than them and we’re not that team in the first half today. We said at halftime we needed to have a better tempo, a higher tempo and make it more difficult for them and I think we showed it in the second half in how we scored the first goal.”
On the differential in shots in today’s match…
“We said we needed to take more runs in behind the back four and especially on the sides because they played the man-man marking and we could switch positions and make it a bit more harder for them to defend. In the first half it was more crosses and was players in the box that we said at halftime needed more plays in the box from them. At 55-65 minutes it felt like they were more tight than us and felt like more chance they were going to put us in.”
On this three-game week affecting the approach in today’s match…
“No, we wanted to play the same way. Against Red Bull, we said we were going to play a different way because they were very aggressive and we’re not going to let them win any balls in the middle. And today, we played more like we normally do. Today was a normal gameplan – we want to dominate at home and play off all the chances. I think we dominated, I think we played good with the game today.”
NEW YORK CITY FC MIDFIELDER KWAME AWUAH
On getting a chance to be in a match…
“I think the team is playing well and it gave me the opportunity to get myself some minutes. A lot of guys were tired so it was nice to get a little bit of a rotation to keep some guys fresh and to get some of the younger guys some minutes. I enjoyed every minute of it.”
On playing for a new coach…
“I am more comfortable. Obviously, you need the team to help you showcase your talent. As long as I can keep playing well with the rest of the guys that are playing regularly I think he will see what I am.”
On entering the match with a lead…
“I think it goes both ways. It depends on the mood of the game and how I am feeling as a player. I just listen to the instructions the coach gives me and try to do it to the best of my ability.”
MONTREAL IMPACT HEAD COACH REMI GARDE
Thoughts on the game…
“I think we played a team that tonight was better than us. Then we struggled to create chances. I think that the spirit and fight of the team was still good. Which is a good point of tonight. But we couldn’t play again the way we played last night.”
Talk about the next game…
“Yeah, we know that home games are very important for us if you want to reach your target. Now the recovering and the cool down of the players will be very important and from here on out, all home games will be very important.”
MONTREAL IMPACT GOALKEEPER EVAN BUSH
Did tonight play out like you thought it would…
“Oh no. We expected to be a bit better. You know, we made a lot of changes in the lineup and there was a different connection there. But I think the spirit was good. I think the energy was good. I think that at times, we were a bit hesitant on stepping at guys at the right moments or taking advantage of mistakes at the right moments and sometimes you get that when you change a number of guys. But overall, I think the effort was there and you know, you wipe this one clean and focus on Saturday now.”
Disappointed with the loss…
“You know, I think we’re disappointed. You’re always disappointed when you lose and don’t get the result that you want. But I think at the same time, as professionals, you have to start preparing for games in two days and it’s another home game and it’s a game where they’re flying across country. We’re coming off a midweek game. So, I’m not sure if one team has an advantage in this one, but us being at home gives us a bit more of a boost of energy and it’s a game that going into Saturday, we think that we should be able to put our stamp on that game.”
Are you worried to fall back into a slump…
“Oh of course. But we also want to guard against this too. We don’t want to – and I’ve said this previously – you don’t want to get content with what we’ve done in the past month. Cause then if you lose two or three games in a row, you’re back to where you were. The fact is that we put ourselves in a position now where we’re not hanging by the string of our teeth. We’re in a position where we can’t afford to lose points, but we have to be able to look at the bigger picture and a midweek game in NYC, they’re a very difficult team to play here. They’re a tough team to play and it’s a tough result to get. The fact is that we were down three-zero with like fifteen minutes left. So I think that maybe guys at that point started thinking, ‘Ok, we probably lost this game now. So let’s do what we need to do to get ready for Saturday.’ So that’s why you may see a little bit more turnaround and quick reaction here. If this was a home game we lost midweek, maybe this would be a bit different. If it was a game that we didn’t make so many changes, maybe there is a different feeling. But I think that we know that the games that we need are the games on Saturdayagainst a team that we know we should get three points against.”
MONTREAL IMPACT DEFENDER MICHAEL PETRASSO
On if Petrasso thought it would be this tough to play at Yankee Stadium tonight…
“It’s a tough game for every team coming here, so we knew that coming into the game that they’re a very good team. We came here to make a point and get three. After the first half it was nil-nil, which is good for us, and they just kind of took it to us in the second half, which is what happened. We’re disappointed but were in good form and there’s a lot of things going for us.”
On the lineup changes in tonight’s match…
“Playing against one of the best teams [NYCFC], they’re very tough and fitness wise getting around the end of the game we keep moving with a little bit of fatigue. But coming here was a good experience playing against New York and at Yankee Stadium. We’re disappointed with the result but were looking forward and being positive for our next game.”
Comfort of playing with one another…
“I thought in the first half we didn’t get many chances and we didn’t get very close to the box and that’s tough. In the second half we went in there and wanted to hold for the first 15 minutes, keep solid because the game had slowed down. And then we get opportunities but they [NYCFC] scored. I think that kind of changed the momentum in the game and then we had to push to open up the game and we moved back and forth in the loss.”
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