NYCFC Begins Road Trip With Clean Sheet Win In LA

NYCFC, New York City,
Maxi Moralez (10) celebrates his goal against the LA Galaxy with Anton Tinnerholm. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports

New York City (NYCFC) extended its unbeaten streak to seven with an impressive 2-0 win over LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park.

After starting the season with five draws and a loss, New York City over the past five matches has allowed only one goal in winning four and drawing one during that period.

“I am very happy because maybe we found the right system for us because this is three clean sheets in a row when we play away,” said Doménec Torrent, NYCFC’s head coach. “But it is not about that, it is about the feeling, sometimes you are not able to score but the feeling is much better, and right now this team has the possibilities to win some.”

Playing the first of four straight road matches, New York City came out strong and had several chances to take an early lead. In the 17th minute, Alex Ring was able to win the ball in the middle third. After an exchange of passes with Ismael Tajouri-Shradi Ring unleashed a curling shot that just missed the target.

Five minutes later, a build-up of play between Maxi Moralez and Ronald Matarrita created a good look for Héber, whose shot took a deflection just over the crossbar.

With the match scoreless as halftime approached, NYCFC would take control with goals just minutes apart. In the 44th minute, Héber netted his third goal in five starts after he reacted first to LA keeper David Bingham’s parry to put home a rebound from close range.

Six minutes into stoppage time, New York City would get a second from the spot. A cross from Anton Tinnerholm hit a hand and the referee pointed to the penalty spot after a lengthy VAR consultation.

Having missed twice on penalties in 2019, Maxi Moralez stepped to the spot and made no mistake, slotting the ball into the bottom corner for a two-goal lead.

“Anytime I grab the ball I always have confidence,” Moralez said. “I wouldn’t be the first to miss a penalty so when you go up there you try and thankfully it went in today. It worked to add to our lead.”

In the second half, the Galaxy had more possession but was unable to take advantage, largely thanks to the defensive effort of Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot and James Sands.

Callens was especially alert in the 80th minute when Zlatan Ibrahimovic found a way past Sean Johnson, but Callens headed the Swede’s goalbound chip out for a corner.

The NYCFC goal was threatened again with five minutes left as Ibrahimovic lifted the ball over an onrushing Johnson, but hit the underside of the crossbar.