Ronny Deila made a couple of changes on the wings from the 3-1 win over Chicago last time out, bringing in Gary Mackay-Steven and Maxi Moralez for Jesus Medina and Alexandru Mitrița.
Looking to make it three wins from three ahead of Sunday’s trip to the nation’s capital, NYCFC made a spirited start to the match, putting their hosts under pressure throughout the first 45’ on a foggy Foxborough night.
Although the visitors were unable to regularly test Matt Turner in the New England goal in the first 45’, Deila’s side did manage to create dangerous openings on numerous occasions, but the first chance of the night came from a set-piece on 14’ when Maxime Chanot’s header was well saved.
Former Blue Tommy McNamara was a lively presence for New England, but NYCFC continued to edge the midfield battle and were unlucky not to take the lead when Mackay-Steven played Héber through on 35’.
The Brazilian’s movement was excellent as he found himself through on goal in behind the defense, but Turner raced out well to narrow the angle and blocked the shot to keep the two teams level going in at the break.
It didn’t stay that way for long. Despite New England’s change in shape and two substitutions at the interval, NYCFC deservedly took the lead on 59’ when more brilliant work from Anton Tinnerholm and a clever run from Héber forced an own goal and put City up one.
Sean Johnson got in on the action with a rare save on 70’ and it was a big one, a sprawling flying stop from Bou off a long range rip which looked destined for the top corner.
The importance of the save was underlined just a couple of minutes later when Héber scored his first MLS goal of 2020 with an emphatic header off a Ronald Matarrita corner to make it 2-0.
It was no less than City warranted off a dominant display and it could have got even better on 79’ when only another great save by Turner prevented Keaton Parks from heading in a third.
Joe Scally came in for his MLS debut late on to provide another highlight at the end of another very pleasing night’s work.
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