Alonso Martínez dazzles fans in NYCFC's win over CF Montréal

  • NYCFC played CF Montréal at Citi Field
  • The Pigeons won 2-0 thanks to Alonso Martínez
  • There were injury concerns again
Alonso Martínez, Hannes Wolf of NYCFC
Alonso Martínez, Hannes Wolf of NYCFC / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Over the weekend, New York City FC secured a win against Orlando City SC.  It was a beautiful and ugly match based on the separate halves.  Nevertheless, the mood was sour after the game since Malachi Jones was badly injured in a collision.  This led to the expected news of a leg injury, but it was worse than one thought.  The winger broke his right tibia and fibula and will be out for some time.

NYCFC could not dwell on it, for the team had a quick turnaround.  They welcomed CF Montréal for Wednesday's matchup at Citi Field.  This was considered the 4th of July game since Independence Day is tomorrow.  In addition, this was the last game at home until the start of the Leagues Cup.

Hence, the Pigeons knew they had to win.  They have recently played well against the Canadian team, last losing in 2021.  In fact, NYCFC dominated the series entering the game.  They had a 12-2-5 record.  So, many expected this game to end with three points in the suitcase.

And guess what?  NYCFC beat CF Montréal 2-0, securing those necessary three points.  It was not their best performance.  However, they did enough to get the job done, earning the 13th win against the side.

Alonso Martínez leads NYCFC to victory

NYCFC started the match with plenty of energy.  They spent the first ten minutes in Montréal’s half, dominating the game.  It was not shocking that the Queens’ team went up 1-0 in the ninth minute.  The Canadian team gave up the ball and Hannes Wolf immediately pounced on the opportunity.  He sent the ball to Alonso Martínez, who powerfully put the ball into the back of the net.

Notably, the initial call was offside.  The goal went to VAR review though, and correctly was called onside.  It was extremely close, but there was enough to see that the Costa Rican was not in front of the opposing defender.  This is also an example of when the flag should not have been raised since all goals are reviewed anyway.

Afterward, things settled down for the Pigeons where their play and offensive threats became lackluster.  There was some worry at halftime that the match would not go in the right direction, but something must have been said.  NYCFC came out ready to play and scored their second goal in the 56th minute.

After another giveaway around the halfway point, the Boys in Blue quickly moved the ball towards the box.  Wolf again got the ball and chipped it over a few defenders to an onside Martínez.  The forward, with one touch, sent the ball home on the volley.  It was brilliant in every way.

The rest of the game was a fun one to watch.  Both teams were threatening, but NYCFC was clearly the bigger threat.  They had 14 shots with seven on target.  Montréal had 11 with three on target but did not give Matt Freese too much of a workout on his saves.  Additionally, Martínez led the team with his four shots.  He played as a true striker, waiting for his chances and trying to score.

Unfortunately in the first half, Maxi Moralez had to come off due to a leg injury.  The severity is unknown, but he was able to walk off easily by himself.  It might be a muscle problem based on how the medical staff attended to his leg.  After losing Jones, NYCFC fans will be holding their breath that the Argentine is okay.  Hopefully, he was taken off as a precaution.

Then, Birk Risa came off at halftime.  He suffered a knock in the first half but initially stayed on.  With another match on Saturday, everyone can only hope he is okay as well.  Fans will have to wait for news on both players.

There is one thing that is for certain while everyone waits for the news: NYCFC cannot step back by any means.  Their road trip begins on Saturday when they play Austin FC.  This will be a crucial time to earn some points on the road.  They do not want to enter the Major League Soccer break on another losing streak.