NYCFC Opens 2019 Being Unable to Close out Orlando

By Sean McCaffery, March 3, 2019

Coming out of the gate strong, an Ebenezer Ofori goal assisted by USMNT standout Jonathan Lewis at 13' and closing out the opening half of the year in similar fashion, Alex RIng assisted by newcomer Alexandru Mitrita for his first of what I am sure will be many MLS points at the 45' mark. Orlando made the necessary adjustments to then tie it as they opened their account for the new season at 59' on a goal by Chris Mueller on a well placed restart, as Tesho Akindele netted his first of the year at 75' assisted by Dom Dwyer who had just came on at 69' and was cautioned at 75', truly an impact player. Orlando looked dangerous at the opening whistle as Johnson, the Will variety as just 5' in, put one just wide of his fellow Johnson, Sean in goal for NY. Scant minutes later the aforementioned strike by Ofori found its way home off the inside post on its unsaveable way into the goal. Ring knocked on the door shortly thereafter as his go at goal at 29' put Brian Rowe into a must save situation, and he was up to the task, then as Chanot pushed a headed corner from Mitrita just wide of the net, he was saved from goal 2. The goal as halftime drew nearer saw the 2nd captain in team history go in alone on the 'keeper and come out on top as Mitrita with a killer through ball to the captain surpassed a few defenders and sprung Ring to ring true on his shot. NYCFC kept up the pressure to no avail in the 2nd stanza as Ring again went on goal as a few minutes in, he was high on his volley attempt after Lews brought the ball up the right side. Until now, the 59' minute, OCSC had the better of the possession yet in their attacking thirds, NY clearly was sharper, then shot happened as the direct kick by Mueller beat Johnson as he went from left side to the far corner to draw the hosts within one with half an hour to play. NYCFC kept up the pressure and at 70' Mitrita seeking his 2nd assist, fed Morales with yet another stellar ball as Rowe stood up and made the save, blocking the attempt on his goal. 5 minutes later saw the home team knot it up as Akindele put one in from up close, Portugese international in his first MLS action like the other who gave the assist, Nani was inserted into the game just 5' before as he sprung Dwyer who then centered the ball for the tap-in by Tesho to close out the scoring, averting a home opening loss. Chanot and NYCFC were fortunate when a handball penalty was dismissed by VAR, then they were not as fortunate as during the last minute of added time, Mitrita was thwarted by Rowe as he weaved through the defense on the left side closing in on the goal.