(Alexander Callens celebrates his late goal in the NYCFC win on Saturday – Photo by USA Today Sports)
New York City Football Club rebounded from a tough draw with New England on Wednesday night with a thrilling 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
In the game Wednesday night, NYCFC surrendered a goal in the 86th minute, and on Saturday, they won it with two goals in the final 10 minutes.
It was scoreless until Philadelphia got on the board in the 69th minute when 69’ Fabrice-Jean Picault scored on a feed from C.J. Sapong.
NYCFC tied it in the 80th minute when Maxime Chanot scored his first goal with the club on a feed from Maxi Moralez.
Five minutes later, NYCFC had a set piece, and it was Alexander Callens who reacted first and slotted home a rebound to give them a 2-1 lead.
NYCFC has now won four of their last five games against Philadelphia.
With the win, NYCFC is now 7-3-5, 24 points, and has now moved into second place in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is now 4-4-6, 16 points, and are in ninth place.
NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira said of how much the team needed the victory the way it came, “I think when you look at the game, we played quite well and you have to give them credit because their goalkeeper had a fantastic game and they defended quite well. They waited for the opportunity and they scored. I think as a team we didn’t accept the defeat and we fought back. I’m really proud of this team. I’m really proud of the way that Matta came on, the way that Jonathan came on, because I believe that they lifted the team and we found a second breath and that’s really important.”
Vieira said of Maxime Chanot and Alex Callens scoring, “I’m really happy for Maxime and Alex to score those goals because lately the goals that we conceded, they take it a little bit personal. You saw the problem that Alex had with his shoulder. He played with pain. He didn’t want to come off. That is a sign of strength of a player. More than anyone else, I’m really glad that these two centerbacks scored because they’ve been working, sacrificing themselves for the team and for them to score the two goals to make us win the game is really good and i think the way we fought back makes me really proud.
Vieira said of NYCFC finishing strong, “I think it’s just a credit to the staff as well because when you look at the number of games that we played and you look at way that this team finished the game today. That’s telling me as well as the staff that we are working well because it’s not easy to go one nil down. All the credit to the staff. The way we managed the team between games is good. We finished really well physically. We finished stronger than them. When we scored the first goal, I looked at the time and said we had time to create another one. Alex was at the right place at the right time, and that was a really good win.”