D.C. United were in the driver's seat for most of the match courtesy of an opening goal from Nigel Robertha just nine minutes after kickoff that gave the visitors a 1-0 lead that they would hold all the way until the 84th minute. But a late equalizer from Keaton Parks set the stage for the winner from Thiago just before the final whistle, which came at the end of a stellar individual run from the Brazilian attacker.
NYCFC racked up a few early chances during an energetic start to the match, but it was D.C. United who would open the scoring, via a clinical finish from Robertha that came against the run of play. The 23-year-old Dutchman, making his first MLS start, collected a pinpoint longball from homegrown midfielder Moses Nyeman and fired a laser shot that beat NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson at the near post to give the visitors the lead inside 10 minutes.
It looked like the Black and Red would be able to see out what would have been a big road victory, but Parks started the comeback by bagging the late leveler with a flicked header off pinpoint corner kick from Maxi Moralez.
Thiago then found the game-winner in spectacular fashion, taking a feed from Johnson following a save, making a charging run all the way down the right flank and beating Bill Hamid with the decisive finish, delivering the Cityzens all three points.
- THE BIG PICTURE: It's an absolute gut-punch for D.C. United, who were in prime position to take all three points on the road against an in-conference foe, only to take none at all due to the pair of late concessions. It's an equally euphoric result for NYCFC, who got an exhilarating finish in front of their home crowd and a result that helped them keep pace in a tight and competitive group at the top half of the Eastern Conference table.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Thiago's game-winner was the decisive goal and reward for a fantastic run by the young forward, who joined the club in April from Brazilian side EC Bahia. This is a great example of the type of quality he brings to the table.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Scoring the winner in your third MLS match is usually a good way to get the honors, making Thiago the easy choice for this one.