Aiming to win on the road for the first time since the end of March and continue a three-game winning-streak, NYCFC were close to taking the lead with just four minutes on the clock.
It was Maxi Moralez pressing which created the opportunity as he ran down the last defender and got the jump, forcing Earl Edwards into an excellent double save.
The flow of the game ebbed back and forth through the first half with City threatening through a Rodney Wallace snapshot into the ‘keeper’s arms and Jesus Medina striking the crossbar with a free-kick from distance on 27’.
Orlando also bared their teeth on a couple of occasions, with a deflected effort from Dom Dwyer whistling over the top and a Yoshi Yotun effort cannoning back off the crossbar on 37’.
However, it was the road team who seized the initiative on 40’ when Moralez reacted quickest when the ball deflected back off the post after Rodney Wallace’s pressing created chaos at the top of the box.
Moralez wheeled away in delight after sweeping home his eighth goal of the campaign, tying him for team top-scorer.
One became two in the only minute of stoppage-time when 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 area.
The hosts committed numbers forward in the second half, chasing the game, forcing Sean Johnson into a tremendous save on 62’, when he raced out and blocked Dwyer’s goalbound attempt.
For the first time in the night, Orlando were asking serious questions of the visiting defense but City were preserving a club record stretch of minutes without conceding (308’ before a ball was kicked).
A couple of changes from Head Coach Dominic Torrent freshened things up for NYC, who looked to have ridden the wave, with Jonathan Lewis and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi entering the fray and offering a new dynamic to the attack.
There was time remaining for more drama at both ends, with Moralez having a goal disallowed on a close offside call on 74’, before the Lions struck the woodwork for the third time on the night on their next attack.
Orlando’s task grew taller on 83’ when Shane O’Neil was correctly shown a straight red card for an ugly, frustrated foul on Moralez off the ball.
Lewis skewed a good chance to put the cherry on top on 85’ but NYCFC had done enough for all three points and a club record clean sheet streak was extended.
- NYCFC won on the road for the first time since March 31
- They shutout Orlando to make it a club record four-successive clean sheets
- The Boys in Blue also stretched a club record 398 minutes without conceding streak
- Maxi Moralez ties Isi Tajouri-Shradi and David Villa as team top-scorer with his eighth goal of 2018
- The Argentine scored in all three of NYCFC’s games vs. Orlando this season
- Anton Tinnerholm made it four goals for the season (club seasonal record for a defender)
New York City Head Coach Domenec Torrent
On getting result on the road
‘’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.”
On displeasure with 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.”
On what specifically isn’t happening
“I’m happy when we’re able to keep the ball, we play well, we have the control. I remember this game, it’s a little bit similar to Chicago. In Chicago we lose the control in 15 minutes but here we lose the control the whole second half. Of course we can win the game, maybe we can score another goal, but they can score maybe three or four goals. It’s not the best way to play MLS. If you try to win MLS. If not, it’s okay, maybe you can end the season in seventh position, sixth position, maybe it’s not bad. But for me, I will try to play much better.”
On Maxi Moralez’ performance
“Maxi was amazing the last few games. Even Jesus [Medina] and many players. Eben [Ofori] was a fantastic player tonight. Maxi is good. I’m very happy for them. This is soccer. In soccer you need to play much better. If not, in one day change the luck and you lose the game.”
New York City Defender Anton Tinnerholm
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 was also late in the second half, was also important. Yeah, it was similar goals, but different corners.”
On scoring in different corners
“I scored five goals last season in Malmo, so I feel like I have quality when I’m getting in the offensive part of the game as well. Maybe I can’t score goals like this all the time, but I’m used to scoring a couple of goals per season. I want to continue like this and today I had like some crosses as well that can be a goal also. I like the type of playing, how we play here, and I like to get into attacks as well.”
On what is expected out of fullbacks
“We are changing our tactics game to game, depending where the opponents have their strengths and where they are weak. So, it’s changing a little bit depending on the opponent, how we want to hurt them, but, it’s similar how we want to play, because we want to have the ball. I felt today in the second half we were struggling. We can’t give away a half like that. Even when we’re now a man up we’re struggling and today we had to say thanks to Sean [Johnson] that he makes so many saves in the second half, but we have three points and that’s what matters.”
New York City Goalkeeper Sean Johnson
On 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.”
On 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.”
On what needs to be done to keep momentum going in Seattle
“Seattle is another good team, another tough place to play. We’re looking forward to the challenge, quick turnaround for us. We’ll recover, fly out tomorrow and start preparing for Seattle probably on the flight watching video and get ready for them. But they’re coming off a good result midweek, a 1-0 win, so we’ve got to really look to refocus and get back to it in Seattle and look to get out there and get another three points.”
Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor
“When you look at the difference in the performance between the first half and second half I think it’s easy to see. Second half we came out and we have lots of opportunities, we hit the crossbar whatever number of times. Big moments just don’t seem to be dropping for us. But there shouldn’t be such disparity between the performance of the first and second half.”
On four shots off the woodwork
“The biggest thing for me is I’ll never make excuses. The easy thing for me to do is to come out here and say, ‘Oh we hit the post four times.’ There’s something to that, but equally for me there shouldn’t be a disparity between the first and second half. When you look at the first half for what we want, I don’t think that’s what we want. Second half it’s a lot closer to what we’re looking at. We’re starting to get the intensity, we’re starting to do the things that we want to do. There was some lovely movement. Overall throughout the 90 minutes there was some lovely passages of play, but I’m serious, I want to win. This is really frustrating for myself, for the staff, for the players. We’re not just saying it. Want want to win. So when you don’t win, it’s really frustrating. That’s probably the biggest thing. I look at the supporters when we’re 2-nil down, and the passion they’re showing, the support, the noise in the stadium, it’s absolutely incredible. When you actually look at that midway through the second half, the supporters are absolutely on their feet, chanting, roaring, really supporting the team. It gets to the point where there’s a desperation to want to do well for those supporters. I ask them just to stick with us. As a Club we’re going through a difficult time. But I can promise you things will get better.”
On the difference between the first and second half
“When you look at the contrast, it’s almost as if the first half we’re playing and we’re waiting to see how the game’s going to play out. We’re waiting and anticipating to see if it’s going to go for us. Second half, we came out with a lot more courage, a lot more bravery. Not only in tackles but when we have the ball, people being brave to get on the ball and people playing quickly, some good movement, some good rotation. When you look at the contrast between the first and second half, it comes down to mentality. That shouldn’t be happening. That’s the biggest thing that I’ve been speaking about. Second half we can all say, ‘Yeah, that’s closer to what we want,’ but we want it for 90 minutes. We want it now and I think that’s something that everybody does and I include the players in that. I’m not trying to throw the players under the bus or anything like that — we’re in it together. I look at myself and I think, ‘Well what can I do differently? What can I do as the coach to make sure that doesn’t happen?’ That’s the biggest thing that we need to look at, address, is that shouldn’t be happening. That’s mentality.”
On New York City’s two goals
“The first goal, I think it’s a clearance, it hits their lad, ricochets off the post and drops to their lad. When you look at that, I’m not quite sure what you can say to whoever’s clearing the ball. The second one is a cheap turnover in the midfield. They switch it, they get in, good composure from them. I think the second one, the cheap turnover. The first one I need to see again but it seems to be a ricochet that hits off the post and comes back out. Again, it shouldn’t be happening. We’ve had the first half where we hit the crossbar with Yoshi [Yotun], a couple of decent movements. But again, from where we want to get to, I think the second half was way closer to what we’re looking for. Even with the 10 men, we kept going. I give the players credit for that. The second half, the way they were playing with 10 men was great.”
Orlando City Midfielder Yoshimar Yotún
On the frustration of hitting the post
“We tried from every side, we couldn’t score. We faced one of the best teams in the league and the only way to turn this around is by working hard.”
On difference between the two halves
“In the first half we noticed that we could hurt this team, that we could score and in the second half that’s what we tried to do. Obviously it wasn’t our night.”
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