Late goals from Maxime Chanot and Alexander Callens, their first in MLS, turned the game around for NYCFC. City were on the verge of dropping points for the third time this week thanks to Blake’s efforts in goal. Yet they found the breakthrough off of two set pieces in a 2-1 victory at Yankee Stadium, much to the Jamaica international's disappointment.
“Sometimes if you get scored on, on a great 1-2 pass and a great goal, that’s acceptable,” Blake said. “I could’ve done better to not give up two goals on set pieces tonight. It’s already gone and we can’t do much about it but to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Blake’s performance earned the respect of NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira, who said Blake had a "fantastic game." Vieira, proud of his team for finding a way to win ugly after they conceded a late equalizer to the New England Revolution on Wednesday, said it was just as satisfying that NYCFC found the goals off set pieces.
“We spent a lot of time working on set pieces and the quality of the delivery,” Vieira said. “Today was good, we scored but we should score more goals from set pieces because we spend time working on it and the deliveries are quite really good. I expect the team to score more goals in the next few games.”
Chanot and Callens took it personally when Fafa Picault scored to put the Union ahead. Chanot said while it was nice to score a goal, his main priority is ensuring that he keeps a clean sheet. For Callens, the game was difficult as he nursed a shoulder injury for the entire second half. Callens said team doctors told him while it would be best for him to come off, he would be fine if he stayed on. Callens said he stayed on because he wanted to push the team toward a victory.
“I’m very happy,” Chanot said. “I’m happy to score my first goal here. It’s incredible. But I like to work hard for the team. I like that the team did not lower its shoulders after allowing the goal. The changes we made worked, we kept a good attitude and we started to go forward that was the most important thing.”
NYCFC usually don’t need their center backs to score. They are amongst the league leaders in goals and shots on target thanks to the forward trio that is led by Villa. That they were shut out today, Vieira said, was not a product of bad luck or poor concentration.
“It was the goalkeeper,” Vieira said. “When you look at the saves that he had, he was fantastic today. You have to give him a lot of credit because he kept his team in the game and made it really difficult for us. Our players are frustrated: David is frustrated, Miguel [Camargo] and [Maximiliano Moralez] too but at times, we will take our chances and other times, the 'keeper will make a fantastic save.
"That happens and we need to accept it but what I was proud of was that we went 1–nil down and kept playing and kept to our philosophy.”