(NYCFC’s Jonathan Lewis celebrates his game-winner, with Head Coach Patrick Vieira (right) running towards him – USA Today Sports)
New York City Football Club got a stirring, come-from-behind 2-1 win over the New England Revolution on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium, as Jonathan Lewis got the game-winner in the 94th minute.
With the win, NYCFC improves to 14-4-7, 46 points, and have opened up a five-point lead on third-place Chicago, who has 43 points, and a record of 13-4-7.
Toronto is in first place with 50 points and a record of 14-8-3.
The Red Bulls, after a 2-0 loss in Portland Friday night (summary below) are in fourth with a record of 12-2-10 and 38 points.
This game got off to a very slow start, as neither team had a shot on net in the first 40 minutes. New England registered the only shot on net in the first half, with two other shots off target. NYCFC had two shots off target in the first half.
In the 53rd minute, New England defender Brou Benjamin Angoua was given a yellow card for taking down NYCFC midfielder Maxi Moralez. Angoua felt they ran into each other and didn not deserve and card and yelled at the referee, having to be restrained. He’s lucky he didn’t get a red card for his actions.
Soon after, in the 57th minute, NYCFC goaltender Sean Johnson could not handle a routine shot, and could not corral it after one bounce in front of him. New England’s Teal Bunbury swooped in and buried it to make it 1-0.
In the 78th minute, David Villa took it down the left side, dropped it off to Maxi Moralez and Ben Sweat, and after it bounced around the New England defense, got back to Villa, who buried it to tie the game at 1. It was Villa’s 19th of the season.
Jonathan Lewis, who entered in the 86th minute for Rodney Wallace, got a cross from Ben Sweat and fired a shot from the right side and drilled it to make it 2-1 NYCFC at the time, and it would be the winning goal. It was Lewis’ second goal of the season.
Villa said of Lewis, “He is a guy who isn’t afraid. This is important when you are 19 or 20 years old…He plays the same way he trains and that’s good for him.”
Throughout the game, NYCFC never had any sustained pressure, making this win all the more remarkable.
NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira said of the inability to get off shots, “Throughout the game, I think we were getting really frustrated because there wasn’t any space for us to play…(it) made it real
Attendance was 22,415.
Portland Timbers 2 – Red Bulls 0 (Friday night)
The Red Bulls fell to the Portland Timbers, 2-0 on Friday night at Providence Park in Portland.
The Red Bulls dropped to now 12-2-10, 38 points, on the season, and 4-0-8 on the road.
Portland got goals from Diego Valeri in the 65th minute, and Darren Mattocks in the 96th minute. The goal that came in stoppage time was a result of the Red Bulls sending goalkeeper Luis Robles up the field looking for an equalizer on a set piece. The Red Bulls held Portland to just two shots on goal in the match.
The match capped off a series of three games in seven days for the Red Bulls.
The Red Bulls made nine changes to the lineup that played 120 minutes on Tuesday night in Cincinnati, coming from behind to down FC Cincinnati in extra time and advance to the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final.
The three-game stretch began with a 3-1 win over Orlando City SC last Saturday at Red Bull Arena.
Felipe and Kemar Lawrence were the two players to start both matches. Felipe retained his number six role, while Lawrence shifted from outside back to center back.
Three players made their Red Bulls MLS debut in Portland, with Dilly Duka, Fidel Escobar, and Vincent Bezecourt all earning starts. Duka, an MLS veteran, made his first start with New York after signing last week. Bezecourt made his MLS debut after playing the last season-and-a-half with NYRB II. Escobar was also signed during the Summer transfer window.
Connor Lade and Aurelien Collin both returned to the starting lineup after missing time with injury. Collin’s return did not last long, as he was forced from the game in the first half with a foot injury.