NYCFC Revs Second Half Offense To Gain A Point In New England

NYCFC
New York City midfielder Ismael Tajouri reacts after scoring a goal against New England. Photo: Bob DeChiara-USA Today Sports

New England Revolution 2
New York City FC 2

Goals: NYCFC: 51’ Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (assist Saad Abdul-Salaam), 75’ Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (assist Yangel Herrera); NE: 11’ Diego Fagundez (assist Wilfried Zahibo), 63’ Juan Agudelo (assist Cristian Penilla)

Key Points: For the second straight match the depth of New York City FC was tested as captain David Villa was again out of the starting XI. Despite being outplayed by New England for the first half and the first portion of the second half, New York City continued to battle and in the end extended its unbeaten streak to four. The offensive star this time was Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, who scored twice to bring New York City level each time the Citizens went down a goal. Sean Johnson also had another strong game in goal for New York City and made several saves in each half to keep the Boys in Blue within a goal.

Notable:

  • Jo Inge Berget made his debut for NYCFC
  • Ebenezer Ofori was named in the starting XI for the first time since he joined the Club in the offseason
  • Ismael Tajouri-Shradi’s brace were his second and third goals for NYCFC
  • It was Saad Abdul-Salaam’s first assist for his new club

Quotable:
NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira:
On the squad’s performance:
“It was a tough game for us. Today, we showed a lot of character. Sometimes you show a different aspect of the game and today we managed to get back twice from behind. We showed a lot of determination, a lot character, and this is something positive I picked up from the game.”

On New England’s high press:
“I think this is a part of my responsibility as well. I think at times, especially the first 25 minutes, they were pressing us really high and with a pace that they have up front that was closing us down and making it really difficult and we tried to force it. The players, they were doing what I was asking them to do. There was a better option because I think we could’ve gone a little bit more direct, especially in the first 20 minutes. I think we were putting ourselves, especially the first 20 minutes, we put ourselves in a difficult situation.”

On the attacking group’s performance in the first half:
“I think we didn’t take risk enough to play forward. I think we played in the first half, especially in the first 20 minutes, I think we played a little bit too safe. We spend too much time in our own half and that was a problem in the first half. I think we didn’t find the space to find Yangel [Herrera] or Maxi [Moralez], where at times they were by themselves. We didn’t manage to break their first line and this is why we struggled to play. We were putting ourselves in danger. And this is something we need to adjust because when we are going to face teams who close down like that, we have to have a certain plan to maybe go a little bit more direct. But, listen, we are going to learn from that. We are going work and try to improve. Taking one point, knowing the last two years this was a really difficult place to come for, I am really pleased going back to New York with the point.”

What’s next:
New York City makes its first trip to the west coast for the 2018 season to meet the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, March 31, at 8 p.m. at Avaya Stadium.