Castellanos Late Brace Secures 3 Points For NYCFC

NYCFC
Vallentin Castellano celebrates his second goal against Houston. Photo: Noah K. Murray-USA Today Sports.

New York City FC (NYCFC) moved closer to the top of the Eastern Conference with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over the Houston Dynamo Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.

Despite playing with a man advantage following the awarding of a red card to Houston’s Romell Quioto in the 29th minute, New York City was unable to capitalize. In fact, the home side would go down a goal when a blistering Mauro Manotas shot from some 22 yards out would beat City keeper Sean Johnson.

Trailing 2-1 with less than 10 minutes of normal time remaining, New York City would draw level in the 83rd minute. Valentin Castellanos was able to get his head on the end of a Keaton Parks cross to level the match at two. It was NYCFC’s first goal via a header of the 2019 season. 

Three minutes into stoppage time, Castellanos would secure the three points for New York City when he converted his own rebound to give his club a 3-2 lead. 

With points at a premium for playoff positioning, NYCFC’s head coach Doménec Torrent said, “We had to win the game. We needed the result. I am very happy because we came back and we fought until the last moment.”

Trailing by a goal late, New York City once again showed intestinal fortitude in overcoming a late deficit.   

“The most important thing tonight is the team’s fight until the last moment,” the head coach said. “We have confidence for the next game because when that happens, you know that you are able to come back.”

New York City would take an early lead in the 16th minute when Jesus Medina would find Alexandru Mitriță, who would finish for a 1-0 advantage. 

Houston would draw even 10 minutes later when former City player Tommy McNamara would assist on a goal from Juan Cabezas. 

Up next for NYCFC is a massive Eastern Conference matchup with defending MLS champion Atlanta United on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Kick-off is set for 3:55 p.m.