BRONX, N.Y. — The goals came early and they came often, and the end result was yet another victory for a New York City FC side that is enjoying the best start of any club this year.
NYCFC extended its undefeated run in 2018 on Wednesday night by mauling a listless Real Salt Lake team, 4-0, at Yankee Stadium. Four different players found the back of the net in the lopsided victory, which also saw usual NYCFC starters David Villa and Alexander Ring make their returns from injuries via second-half substitutions.
All New York City needed was 12 minutes to find the winner, as red-hot Ismael Tajouri pounced on a poor clearance and blasted home his fourth goal of the season.
Maximiliano Moralez and Jo Inge Berget added insurance tallies for NYCFC within 41 minutes. Moralez smashed a questionable penalty kick past RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando at the half-hour mark, and Berget scored his first MLS goal with a well-taken low effort four minutes before halftime.
While NYCFC could have set up shop after the break, it continued to look for goals and Ebenezer Ofori joined in on the fun with his first league strike. Ofori scored in the 70th minute from close range off a feed for Moralez to punctuate the impressive victory that moved the club to 5-0-1 on the year.
MAN OF THE MATCH
It was all NYCFC on the night, but the player that was a cut above the rest was Moralez. The Argentine not only stood out because of his well-taken penalty kick and assist on Ofori’s goal, but also because he did an excellent job of floating and dropping to pick the ball up in different areas of the field before pinging it forward with the precision of a sniper.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
NYCFC got some early momentum with an early goal, and it was Tajouri who delivered the decisive finish. A cross from the right was poorly dealt with by veteran midfielder Kyle Beckerman, and the ball fell perfectly into the path of Tajouri. The NYCFC striker made no mistake with his ensuing effort, firing high past a helpless Nick Rimando with a shot that looked easier than it was.
MATCH TO FORGET
If we could put RSL as a whole on here we would, but the idea is to name one player. In that regard, Justen Glad had an absolute nightmare in the Big Apple. The centerback’s poor decision to try and kick the ball while he was laying on the ground was naive, and led to NYCFC’s first insurance goal, even if it was a soft foul call by referee Mark Geiger. Glad also could have done better in challenging Medina, who had his back to goal, in the lead-up to Berget’s tally.