The losing streak is over as NYCFC beats Orlando City in a joyful-sorrowful game

  • NYCFC beat Orlando City SC to end the losing streak
  • The game was joyful and sorrowful due to the 4-2 victory and losing Malachi Jones due to injury
NYCFC / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC started off the final Friday home game of the season in style.  It was the team’s Pride game and drag queen Jan Sport began the evening with a fantastic national anthem.  The atmosphere was full of fun and positivity.  As some would say, the stadium had good vibes.

Moreover, fans were very happy with the lineup Nick Cushing put out.  Alonso Martínez started as the striker with Malachi Jones and Hannes Wolf beside him on the wings.  Tayvon Gray also started again, with the rest of the usual suspects in their spots.

The players went up against a struggling Orlando City SC team.  While their away record was pretty good entering the fixture, their recent record against NYCFC was not, for the home side led the purple team 3-1-1 over the last five. 

And, the Pigeons can add one more win to the total.  NYCFC’s losing streak finally ended after they beat Orlando City SC 4-2.  It was not perfect, for the second half saw some defensive blunders, but the Bronx side got the job done.

NYCFC beats Orlando City to end losing streak

NYCFC was already better compared to the Nashville SC match since they had a shot on goal in the 13th minute.  As a reminder, they had no shots on target last weekend.  Then, things got better when they went up on top in the 15th minute.

Martínez made a good pass to Santiago Rodríguez, who already looked hungry for a goal from the very start.  So what did he do?  He shot the ball from outside of the center of the box, sending it into the bottom left corner.  The midfielder likes to score golazos, so it was not surprising he did so again.

The second goal exemplified the hard work of the squad.  Rodríguez picked out Gray on the right side, running toward goal.  The right-back was pressured and almost ran out of room.  However, before he fell out of bounds, he sent the ball into the box right near Wolf.  The winger, with one kick, put the ball into the back of the net with ease, putting NYCFC up 2-0 in first half stoppage time.  Orlando should have done better with marking him, but nobody probably thought the ball would stay in.

That was not the only assist for the right-back.  Gray got another in that same stoppage time, for the 13 minutes was due to injury treatments earlier in the half.  He again made another great run on the right, with plenty of room to make his way into the box.  He picked out Agustín Ojeda and sent the ball rolling in front of two Orlando defenders in front of the goal.  It was pitch-perfect, so all Ojeda had to do was tap it in. 

Unfortunately, while the Pigeons were up 3-0 at halftime, both teams lost players due to injuries.  Around the 17th minute, Malachi Jones and Orlando’s goalkeeper, Mason Stajduhar, collided with one another.  Right away, the air was taken out of Yankee Stadium, for the collision itself and the reactions from the players made it clear that it was bad.  They each had leg injuries, and one does not have to be a doctor to realize time will be missed.

Jones was on the better end of the collision, for he was able to hop off the pitch with help.  He could not put any weight on his leg.  It was Stajduhar though who had the more gruesome injury.  He was carted off and his leg did not look great when the injury occurred.  Right now, all the teams can do is hope their players will be okay.

As seen with the goals from NYCFC and then Orlando City’s performance in the second half, the injuries did not impact the match entirely.  The visitors even got a goal around the 71st minute after some defensive errors from the Pigeons.  They then added another in stoppage time after disastrous defending from everyone, including Matt Freese.  Truthfully, this was not the best half for the goalkeeper, for both goals could have ended in saves or stops.

Still, the Boys in Blue were not as strong in the second half, but they held on to break the losing streak and secure all three points.  More importantly, Mounsef Bakrar, who came on as a substitute, scored the fourth and final goal for NYCFC.  That was his second of the season and another much-needed goal.

The win is great, but the concern for Jones is definitely on everyone’s minds.  Hopefully, his injury is not as bad as it seems, for he was developing well.  NYCFC has the talent to rotate on the wings regardless, but the collision does take away some of that joy from the 4-2 victory.