New York City FC 1, Orlando City SC 1 | 2019 MLS Match Recap
The scoring got underway in the 18th minute, as Nani capitalized on a wayward clearance from NYCFC center back Maxime Chanot. It was the Orlando Designated Player’s fifth goal in his last four games, continuing his smooth transition to MLS.
Chances then came clear as day for both teams — Orlando forward Tesho Akindele even thought he made it 2-0 until a Video Review decision deemed otherwise — and home side next found net. That moment arrived in the 51st minute, as Heber cleaned up the rebound of a Maxi Moralez shot which Brian Rowe parried onto his near post.
As both clubs searched for a winner, Orlando brought on Sacha Kljestan and Dom Dwyer, while NYCFC turned to Alexandru Mitrita and Valentin Castellanos. The quest for three points, however, proved fruitless.
Each side was surely left ruing missed chances, too. Most notably, NYCFC winger Ismael Tajouri-Shradi couldn’t cushion home a first-half volley from 30 yards past an onrushing Rowe, while Dwyer missed an open header from four yards out in the second half.
- THE BIG PICTURE: After Dome Torrent recently pronounced that he felt his managerial hot seat warming, New York City FC captured seven points from a three-game week, having already beaten D.C. United and the Chicago Fire. They're also unbeaten in their last five matches, but have won just once in five tries at Yankee Stadium. As for Orlando, inconsistency carried on in a match that could have been their second road win of 2019. The end product simply wasn't there.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: After conceding the first goal, the Citiyzens could have faced a steep climb back were it not for a Video Review decision negating an apparent Tesho Akindele goal in the 33rd minute. Nani, whose flick set up the sequence, came back from an offside position. That made the gaffed clearance from NYCFC center back Alexander Callens an afterthought, and not a spot on SportsCenter’s “Not Top 10 Plays.”
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Heber is looking every bit of a striker who can lead the line for NYCFC. He now has two goals and an assist across the club’s last three games, and could have had another if not for Rowe staying alert. His equalizing strike wasn’t flashy, but it’s one you expect the Brazilian to knock home 10 times out of 10.