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New York City FC Downs Philadelphia Union

May 15, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
New York City FC News Release

New York City FC recorded a massive 2-1 road win against Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night. City enjoyed the perfect start to the evening after taking the lead in the second minute through Alonso Martinez. They would double that advantage in first half injury time via a brilliant Hannes Wolf freekick. Philly halved City's advantage through Carranza early in the second half, but it was not enough as City ran out winners on the night.

Match Recap

New York City FC were looking for back-to-back road wins for the first time in 2024 on Wednesday night as they took on the Philadelphia Union.

City secured a brilliant 3-2 result against Toronto FC on Saturday and were hoping that momentum could power them towards another positive result in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Head Coach Nick Cushing made three changes to the team that took on Toronto last time out with Mitja Ilenič, Keaton Parks, and Agustín Ojeda replacing Tayvon Gray, James Sands, and Malachi Jones.

City would enjoy a dream start to the evening as they managed to take a first-half lead through Alonso Martínez after just two minutes.

The product of a devastating counter-attack started by Andrés Perea, his perfectly weighted pass sprang Santiago Rodríguez in behind Philly's defensive line.

The Uruguayan still had work to do, however, and after getting his head up he calmly squared the ball to the back post for Martínez to slam home.

Philly were keen to restore parity as quickly as possible and that saw Julián Carranza test Matt Freese at his near post with a snapshot - the former Union goalkeeper doing well to parry the ball behind for a corner.

At the other end, City were proving a threat in transition and a beautiful sweeping pass from Keaton Parks allowed Rodríguez to run inside from the left and poke an effort towards goal from a tight angle.

Following up to try and convert the rebound was Perea, but his shot lacked the accuracy to trouble his former team.

Play was temporarily halted for several minutes midway through the first half after a raccoon entered the field. After a brief standoff the adorable furry creature was eventually removed from the field so play could continue.

Meanwhile, Perea would enjoy a busy first half against Philadelphia and with the half-hour mark fast approaching he fired off a shot from distance that required a good save from Oliver Semmle.

The hosts were determined to go in level at the break and came close to an equalizer minutes later after a low cross reached Nathan Harriel at the back post - the defender's sliding effort crashing against the side netting.

They would come even closer in the 36th minute thanks to a low shot from Kai Wagner that required a brilliant foot save from Freese to keep City ahead.

The Boys in Blue would double their lead in sensational fashion during first-half injury time thanks to a brilliant freekick from Hannes Wolf. The Austrian's curled effort looping up and over a helpless Semmle.

The Union were able to reduce City's advantage minutes into the second half through a well-taken freekick from Carranza.

At the other end, City's first chance of the second half would fall to Martínez after some smart play down the left. The Costa Rican was able to get away a fierce strike, but Semmle was equal to it.

Cushing was eager to introduce some fresh legs into the game and did so in the 66th minute. On came Malachi Jones and Mounsef Bakrar for Martínez and Ojeda.

The Union were pushing hard for an equalizer and that forced City's backline to make several vital interceptions, with Thiago Martins and Birk Risa in brilliant form. A third City substitute would follow in the 76th minute as Justin Haak replaced Rodríguez.

Cushing's men almost made it three moments later after a great through ball by Wolf found Jones in space in the left channel. The forward drove towards goal and although he was able to get a shot off he saw his effort turned behind for a corner.

Tayvon Gray would be the last City substitution on the night, with the defender replacing Wolf late on. That change also shifted City's formation to a back five, which helped stifle Philadelphia.

The Union thought they had euqalized deep into stoppage time after Jack Elliott pounced on a loose ball inside the area to fire low past Freese. That would be the final act of the contest and confirm a huge 2-1 win for City on the road.

What's Next

Next up for New York City FC is a Hudson River Derby clash against Red Bulls on Saturday, May 18. Kickoff at Citi Field is scheduled for 7:30PM ET.

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