New York City FC stepped onto the pitch at home at Yankee Stadium against D.C. United, 1-1-1 for the season. Before Saturday, the Pigeons had two goals in their first three outings, with one coming off an own-goal that gave them a narrow 1-0 win against Inter Miami CF on March 11. The visitors from the Capital held the same record coming in.
New York did not hold back and immediately kept D.C. on their heels from the opening whistle. By the 11th minute, the Pigeons had two corner kicks but failed to convert them.
In the 17th minute, Keaton Parks played a diagonal ball to find Braian Cufré on the left wing, who then squared it to Talles Magno, finding the back of the net. The linesman initially called it offside, but after a review, Magno got his first goal of the season.
The men in blue doubled their lead 20 minutes later when Santiago Rodríguez found himself isolated on the right wing. He drove the ball with pace and topped it off with a clinical finish to give his team a comfortable lead at halftime.
NYCFC beats D.C. United at home, 3-2
D.C. United came out of the intermission with a point to prove. Head coach Wayne Rooney looked to his bench for reinforcements with three substitutions to begin the half. Right out of the gates, Mateusz Klich played the perfect cross for a Christian Benteke header to put D.C. on the board.
The next minutes that followed got chippy as D.C. clawed for an equalizer. The Pigeons saw themselves outpassed and outshot by the opposition with a few pushes and shoves between the players as temperatures rose on the pitch. This was silenced when super-sub Thiago Andrade scored for New York in the 88th, eight minutes after entering the game.
However, D.C. immediately clapped back with yet another header toward the net. This time, Steven Birnbaum finished a corner kick from Klich for his second assist of the night. The score would remain the same until the full-time whistle.
Hence, Rooney expressed his thoughts about NYCFC and his team.
"We allowed them too much space, too much time on the ball [in the] first half. If you give them that time, it can cause you problems. I thought they were good in the first half, but [in the] second half we were the better team."- Wayne Rooney
Head Coach Nick Cushing expressed his happiness with the result, but was critical as well. He had similar thoughts to Rooney.
"I was really pleased [with the team]. We showed a different style coming out. But we have to be better in the second half. We have a real expectation to win in front of our fans. They support us like a 12th man. But I just told the team, 'we have to go on the road and win football games,' I believe we have the ability to do that."- Nick Cushing
New York City FC's next game will be on the road against the Houston Dynamo on March 25.