New York City FC was back on the road today kicking off a four week away stretch against the Montreal Impact. The teams previously met at Yankee Stadium on April 6th for a goalless draw. This time was different though, as the Boys in Blue brought the goals out and locked down the Impact attack to bring back all three points #ForTheCity.
Sebastian Ibeagha was the headline and only change in a New York City XI that was without James Sands for the first time all season. Ibeagha last started in Dome Torrent’s XI against this same Impact team a month prior, and he played a pivotal role in what would be another clean sheet for NYC.
The attack was in fine form from the jump. After an opening five minutes of pressure in Montreal’s half, City opened up the scoring with a beautiful team move that saw Anton Tinnerholm slide a perfectly weighted through ball out to Ben Sweat, whose lefty strike could only be parried right into the path of an on-rushing Maxi Moralez to tuck away his first goal of the season.
Montreal Impact worked their way back into the game a bit as the first half went on, nearly finding a chance off of a Harry Novillo free kick in the 23rd minute, but front-man Héber was there to head away the danger.
A foul by Daniel Lovitz earned NYCFC a set piece opportunity of their own in the 34th minute, and the take from Tajouri-Shradi was nearly knocked in by Maxime Chanot to double the lead, but last week’s MLS Player of the Week Evan Bush, was there to clean up the remaining danger in front of goal.
The defense was strong and compact throughout the first half, limiting the Impact to only three shots, including a header by Saphir Taider in the 36th minute that Sean Johnson was able to keep out of his net and send the Impact into halftime goalless.
The second half got off to a hot start very reminiscent of the first. Anton Tinnerholm busted up the right wing once again. He refused to go down under pressure and fought his way into the area, where the ball found the feet of Ismael Tajouri-Shradi who took on touch and… bang. His third goal of the season came in the 49’ minute, a trademark left-footed curler that doubled NYCFC’s lead.
There would be more chances for City as the game opened up in the second half.
What looked like a third goal of the night came as Ring squared for Héber in the box, who helped it on towards the Jesus Medina for a tap in, but the young Paraguayan was flagged offside.
The two goals would be all Domenec Torrent’s men needed, as Sean Johnson and the Boys in Blue at the back would hold on for the fifth clean sheet of Season 5 so far.
NYCFC Head coach Domènec Torrent
On the final result…
It was a fantastic game for us because it is not easy to play here. They defended really well the last three or four games. But I’m very happy because I remember last year how many problems we had and right now the feeling is much better…My feeling is they are happy to play in this system, 3-4-3. Sometimes soccer is about the feeling and the feeling is much better.
On beating Montreal at home…
We didn’t play well against Montreal at Yankee Stadium. I remember they played with one player down. Even so, we weren’t able to create chances. We played much better here. But you are a genius when you are able to win the game and you are a bad coach when you are not able to win a game.
NYCFC Goalkeeper Sean Johnson
On the keys to the result tonight…
I think the shift in shape helped us. It helps us defensively shore things up a little bit. I think going forward, if we can quickly transition, getting guys in the right places enables us to let them showcase their talents.
On Moralez’s performance…
Maxi brings so much to this team. When we don’t have him, it shows. He’s a special player, a special talent. He makes things happen even when things are tight. He’s got this leadership about him where he’s always sure of himself. I was really happy for him today.
NYCFC Defender Sebastien Ibeagha
On the win…
Throughout the whole week Domè [Torrent] had a set plan and we stuck to it and it worked really well today. We’re pushing on all cylinders and just kept pushing the game.
On rotating squad to different positions for injuries..
I’m very comfortable [filling another position because of injuries). We train like that. Like Domè said, it takes more than just 11 on the field so everyone has to stay engaged throughout every session and when it’s our time to be in there, we have to perform.
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