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Moralez shines as NYCFC fight back for victory over Quakes

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Anytime you can remain in the game especially on the road, you’re setting yourself up for good results. New York City FC kept their heads up at Avaya Stadium on Saturday night and it helped them to three points.

NYCFC bounced back from an early deficit and scored a pair of second-half goals to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, for their fourth win of the season. Maxi Moralez led the way for the visitors, scoring a goal and adding an assist, while Sean Johnson had a strong outing in-goal.

Mikael Stahre’s side got off to a fast start as Yefferson Quintana’s headed Magnus Eriksson’s cross into the bottom-left corner after three minutes. It was the 21-year-old’s first MLS goal since joining on-loan from Penarol at the start of the season.

Nick Lima was kept out in the opening first-half from long-range, while Danny Hoesen was frustrated twice by Johnson following a pair of saves by the NYCFC keeper.

Jo Inge Berget had the best offensive chance for Patrick Vieira’s side, seeing his close-range chance blocked ahead of halftime. However, the visitors only needed four minutes into the second half to get even.

Anton Tinnerholm scored his second goal of the season, finishing Moralez’s assist into the top-right corner after 49 minutes. Johnson continued his strong game, saving Eriksson’s effort from outside of the box.

After setting up his side’s equalizing goal, Moralez put NYCFC ahead. 2-1, after 60 minutes slotting home into the bottom-left corner via a deflection. It was the Argentine’s third goal of the season, after he Ismael Tajouri’s assist comfortably.

For the remaining half and hour, it was Johnson’s turn to shine. The keeper forced Quincy Amarikwa’s header out for a corner in the 79th-minute before punching Valeri Qazaishvili’s long-range attempt wide. His final save came on Eriksson’s right-footed effort inside of the box.

Johnson made 10 saves on the night which helped preserve the comeback victory, to give NYCFC 13 points from a possible 15 start to the season. Andrew Tarbell made zero in the home defeat, San Jose’s second in a row from their opening three matches.

NYCFC (4-0-1) remain atop of the Eastern Conference standings, and are off next weekend. They are next in action on April 11th at Yankee Stadium against Real Salt Lake.

San Jose (1-2-0) next head on the road for their next match, an April 7th clash with the Philadelphia Union.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Maxi Moralez earned MOTM honors, assisting on NYCFC’s opener and scoring their winner. He also completed the most passes of any New York player with 48, and even could’ve added a second goal late. With David Villa out, Moralez will need to continue his strong play for NYCFC to continue being successful.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Sean Johnson was one of the heroes for NYCFC in their victory, and his biggest saves came in the final minutes. The American made a trio of saves in the 15+ minutes to help earn another three points for his team.

MATCH TO FORGET

Chris Wondolowski has now failed to record a goal or an assist for the first time this season, having a quiet performance for the Quakes. The 35-year-old could not test Johnson in the match, and had only 14 completed passes.

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