Castellanos, Moralez Lead NYCFC Past Philadelphia

NYCFC, Castellanos
Valentin Castellanos. Photo: Brad Penner-USA Today Sports

With seven players unavailable to head coach Doménec Torrent, New York City FC showed its depth in its 4-2 win over Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union

City has three players away on international duty and four injured, including the team’s leading goalscorer Héber. As a result, the head coach turned to Valentin Castellanos as his center forward and the Argentinian did not disappoint. 

With New York City trailing by a goal after a seventh-minute tally by the Union’s Fabrice-Jean Picault, Castellanos would play a role in the home-side leveling the match. 

After back-to-back near-misses from Anton Tinnerholm and Alexandru Mitriță, Castellanos broke through the Philadelphia defense and was tripped, earning a penalty kick. 

Maxi Moralez stepped up for NYCFC to take the spot-kick and drilled it down the center to tie up the game 1-1 in the 23rd minute.

The visitors would regain the lead only seven minutes later when Kacper Przybylko beat Brad Stuver into the bottom corner.

Trailing by a goal at the start of the second half, New York City tightened its play and would begin to take control of the match. 

Castellanos was again in the middle of the action as he was fouled for a second time inside the penalty area. And like the first half penalty Moralez again made no mistake with his kick from the spot, this time drilling the shot into the bottom corner in the 55th minute.

In the 71st minute, New York City would grab its first lead of the match. This time, Castellanos would get credit on the scoresheet when his strike from outside the box would find its way into the bottom corner of the net.

Seven minutes later Moralez and Castellanos would connect again as the former would find the later making a run. Castellanos would get on the end of the Moralez pass and beat the ongoing Matt Freese to give New York City a two-goal lead.