Yankee Stadium had the only MLS action Thursday night as FC Cincinnati visited New York City FC for a match that saw the home team dominate much of the match and extend its unbeaten run to 10, despite knocking in two own-goals in the affair.
Alexandru Mitrita opened up the scoring in the 11th minute thanks to a big mistake by FC Cincinnati’ defender Nick Hagglund. Hagglund passed the ball right to Maxi Moralez who connected with Mirtita from the flank and the Romanian took advantage of the gift, earning his fourth goal of the season in the process.
NYCFC continued to hammer away at Cincinnati’s struggling back line as they swarmed again minutes later. This time Anton Tinnerholm found Héber for an easy tap-in in the 17th minute.
Heber found himself wide-open once again and earned his second assist of the evening in the 29th minute, finding Ishmael Tajouri-Shradi at the top of the box and he smashed a left-footed rocket past an outstretched Spencer Richey on the near post.
Not by its own volition, FC Cincinnati managed to get on the board in the 38th minute on a corner. Despite many Cincy bodies being in the area, it was Héber who knocked it in for an own-goal.
The Brazilian redeemed himself for the mistake shortly after. With a crafty 49th-minute strike from the middle of the box, good for his sixth goal of the season and the first league brace for the MLS newcomer.
Almost comically, NYCFC created another own-goal in the 76th minute as Sebastien Ibeagha deflected a Frankie Amaya shot into the net. robbing Cincinnati’s rookie of his first-ever MLS goal.
Maxi Moralez had the final say in the 90th minute, beating Richey on the far post with a grounded, slow-skipping shot after he and Valentín Castellanos danced around the box.
Despite gifting the visitors with two, New York City was able to cruise early in the second half and see out what looked to be an easy test against the league’s newcomers.
NYCFC heads into the international break at sixth in the Eastern Conference, but only five points off the leading Philadelphia Union.
The woes continue for FC Cincinnati as the expansion side remains in the cellar of the East and extends its winless skid to four, winners of only one in its last 11.
Man of the Match
Good for two goals and assists, Héber’s own-goal will easily be forgotten in the standout performance.
Moment of the Match
The opening goal in the 11th minute set the tone of the match early on. The Cincy blunder made way for Mirtita to start the momentum and NYC didn’t look back.
Match to Forget
FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Spencer Richey had a variety of looks on the evening, he was only able to save four of the nine shots on target.