Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sunday MLS: New York City finally beats another New York team

New York City 2-0 New York Red Bulls
After four losses to their suburban rivals and a defeat to their NASL underlings, the Cosmos, New York City FC finally has a win over another New York team. Right from the start, it was evident that the Red Bulls were a little off. City was crisper. They were more aggressive towards 50-50 balls. They were overall the better team. The home team went in front in the eighth minute thanks to a creative move on a corner that left Jack Harrison wide open for a couple of slick moves and a nice shot inside the near post.

City backed down a bit and allowed a few half chances, but nothing that made it feel like the Red Bulls were going to get an equalizer. David Villa sealed the three points in the 66th minute on a pacy transition attack that had the Red Bulls flummoxed. The match was over in the 79th minute when Chris Duvall was sent off for a rough challenge, forcing Red Bulls to play a man down. They couldn't come back at all.

New York City now finds themselves atop the East as they leap frog Philadelphia. The crazy part is that they are leading the conference while having a -2 goal difference. Man, the East is pretty terrible.

Sporting Kansas City 2-2 Columbus Crew
This battle between non-playoff teams featured a lot of commonality between the two. Both Sporting Kansas City and Columbus Crew have done well to get themselves in great positions to score throughout the season, but neither have done particularly well to finish those chances. That was the theme early on in this one until Ola Kamara was able to tap in a Crew counterattack in the 22nd minute. Both sides would continue to flounder away chances during a first half packed with end to end action, but no finishing.

Sporting Kansas City got off to the right start in the second half. In the 48th minute, Dom Dwyer was chasing a long ball in when he was brought down in the box by Tyson Wahl. A penalty was awarded and Wahl was sent off for denying a goal scoring opportunity. Benny Feilhaber buried the ensuing penalty kick. The ten man Crew quickly capitulated. Graham Zusi slid through the middle of their weakened defense to slam home the go ahead goal in the 56th minute.

The Crew looked to be dead and buried, but Ola Kamara struck again in the 75th minute. He ran in behind the SKC back line on a counter attack and shot past Tim Melia for the unlikely equalizer. That goal would only present false hope for them, though. SKC would find their winner seconds into stoppage time. It started with a corner and ended with a Jimmy Medranda cross, an Ike Opara headed pass, and a tap in header by Matt Besler for his first of the year.

The win sends SKC back into a playoff spot as they jump into fourth place over LA, Portland, and Vancouver. Columbus still sits in second to last back East.

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