New York City FC converted a penalty in either half, including the match-winner in the 55th as part of a brace from Ismaei Tajouri-Shradi, en route to a 4-1 win over D.C. United at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night.
NYCFC's first match in the Bronx this season started off on the right foot as they were awarded a penalty in the 2nd minute, and Valentin Castellanos, yet to open his account in 2020, easily fired it past Bill Hamid to put the hosts ahead. Moments later, Castellanos conceded a penalty of his own after being called for a handball inside the box, with Ola Kamara converting from the spot to draw his side level. NYC had an occasional flurry of chances that they couldn't ultimately get past Hamid as they enjoyed an overwhelming amount of the ball in the first 45 minutes.
Unbelievably, a third penalty was called — this time on D.C. on another handball on the box — with Tajouri-Shradi's attempt deflecting off a sprawling Hamid and into the net to put the Cityzens back in front in the 55th. Tajouri-Shradi struck again in the 63rd on a pretty pass from Anton Tinnerholm, leaving a simple finish for the Libyan international to make it 3-1. Keaton Parks' second goal of the season wrapped up the scoring in the 88th.
It was a third straight win for NYCFC, who have outscored their opponents 11-3 during that run.
- 4'—NYC—Valentin Castellanos | WATCH
- 12'—DC—Ola Kamara | WATCH
- 55'—NYC—Ismael Tajouri-Shradi | WATCH
- 63'—NYC—Ismael Tajouri-Shradi | WATCH
- 88'—NYC—Keaton Parks | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It was always likely that D.C. would absorb pressure to try to gut out their first point since a 2-2 draw against Toronto FC on September 19 and their first win since a 1-0 victory at the New York Red Bulls on September 2. But the Cityzens were able to find soft spots in the defense to test Hamid, ultimately opening up the floodgates and adding a pair of open-play tallies to their two penalty conversions to secure three points on the night. D.C.'s struggles continue as they have now lost four in a row, conceding four times in back-to-back matches.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Three penalties were called in this one, but the third one proved to be the game-winner for the Cityzens: while Hamid guessed correctly on Tajouri-Shradi's attempt, the ball was ultimately net-bound to put the home side up for good.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Tajouri-Shradi gets the honor this evening on the strength of a brace, and he looked threatening enough to make it a hat trick as he put together an exceptional 2nd half.