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Maxi Moralez returned from injury as a halftime substitute to help spark New York City FC to a 3-1 win over Chicago Fire FC Saturday at Red Bull Arena.
Moralez’s impact was felt almost immediately, serving up the assist on Anton Tinnerholm’s eventual game-winning goal in the 53rd minute.
It was the seventh assist in as many all-time appearances against the Fire for Moralez, who has been sidelined by a nagging calf injury suffered at the MLS is Back Tournament last month.
Tinnerholm took a settling first touch and finished clinically inside the far post to break the stalemate in the 53rd minute.
Keaton Parks opened the scoring in the 16th minute, equalling his goal total from a year ago. The midfielder received the ball in the box from an Alexandru Mitrita service and guided his low shot inside the far post.
Parks paid tribute to “Black Panther” actor Chadwick Boseman, who died Friday, with a “Wakanda Forever” celebration.
Four minutes later, Maxime Chanot headed off the post after latching onto Jesus Medina’s corner kick.
Mauricio Pineda leveled in first-half stoppage time with the unmarked rookie tapping past Sean Johnson after Francisco Calvo flicked on Alvaro Medran’s corner kick.
The Fire nearly equalized a second time in the 74th minute, but Alex Callens cleared Elliot Collier’s attempt off the line after Johnson initially misplayed.
A minute later, Alex Ring scored for a second consecutive game off an assist from Tinnerholm to put the game away.
Columbus had a first-half goal by Gyasi Zardes called off when Derrick Etienne was offside on the service. Pedro Santos came close to the equalizer in the 82nd minute, but Sean Johnson dived to parry it out for a corner kick. Fanendo Adi appeared to score the tying goal in stoppage time, but it was the second goal waved off for offside.
NYCFC Head Coach Ronny Deila:
On bringing Maxi on at the half instead of later…
“Maybe we wanted to wait a bit, but I think we needed to make some changes in the second half to get three points. Today is the first time that I have seen Maxi so fresh. You can see that he has no pain, and you can also see how good he is and how vital he is for the team. We created a lot of chances and played a really good second half. I am eager to see the future but just want to play games now.”
NYCFC Defender Anton Tinnerholm:
On just wanting to keep moving after difficult results this season…
“We had a rough start, there’s no doubt about it. We had a lot of meetings and things got better. But in the end we have to show it on the pitch. It is easy to talk but harder to perform out there. We showed it today and we showed it against Columbus that we can do it. I think the second half we were dominating the game; the Chicago players were so exhausted in the final 15 minutes that they can’t even press us. It reminds me of some games from last season, so we have to keep on doing what we did in the second half here. Now we have some confidence, you can see it in the guys. It’s fun to come in a play some games again, now we have to keep on the momentum that we have started.”
NYCFC Midfielder Maxi Moralez:
On getting back on the field after injury…
“At the beginning in Orlando I felt really good, but then I got the injury and wasn’t able to recover until today. I’m really happy with everyone that helped me recover. Today I played well. Together we played well. My leg is a lot better and I recovered quicker than I hoped and now I’m 100 percent and ready for Wednesday’s game [against New England].”
New England Revolution 0, New York City FC 2 | 2020 MLS Match Recap
New York City FC earned their second-ever win at Gillette Stadium — snapping New England Revolution’s seven-game unbeaten streak in the process — with a 2-0 victory.
New York City FC dominated the first half and had several opportunities with dangerous set pieces, but weren’t able to find the back of the net. New England goalkeeper Matt Turner had a fantastic reaction save in the 14th minute off one of NYCFC’s corners to keep the clean sheet for his side going into halftime.
Bruce Arena made two substitutions, giving the Revs a little more life coming into the second 45 minutes, but NYCFC got on the board first in the 60th minute. Anton Tinnerholm crossed a pass into the box to Heber and Michael Mancienne slid to defend the pass but ended up putting it in the back of the net for an own goal. A little more than 10 minutes later, Heber gets his first goal of the season off a NYCFC corner kick from Ronald Matarrita.
At the final whistle, NYCFC took all three points in Foxborough.
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