Valentin Castellanos scored twice in the first half and New York City FC ran their unbeaten streak in MLS play to six matches with a 2-0 win over Inter Miami CF at Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening.

Following a stretch without a goal in over two months, Castellanos ensured his strong run of form continued as his brace gave him five goals in the last six matches across all competitions.

The Argentine forward struck first just past the 20-minute mark, as he cleanly headed a perfect Maxi Moralez cross past Miami goalkeeper Nick Marsman for a 1-0 lead. He had a glorious chance to make it 2-0 in the 32nd minute following a badly misplayed ball by Nicolas Figal near midfield before his final touch let him down when it mattered most.

Castellanos ultimately completed his first-half brace, converting a nifty Panenka from the penalty spot in stoppage time after Kelvin Leerdam was whistled for a clear handball inside the scoring area.

Miami had a great opportunity to pull a goal back with just over 20 minutes remaining through Lewis Morgan, whose bold strike from beyond the box was put out of play by the fingertips of a diving Sean Johnson. Leerdam was later denied by a simple stop from Johnson in the closing minutes as a last-ditch effort by Miami came up empty.

Goals

  • 21' - NYC - Valentin Castellanos | WATCH
  • 45'+1 - NYC - Valentin Castellanos (PK) | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: NYCFC kept rolling, and they did so by ending Miami's stretch without a loss at four matches. It's no coincidence that Ronny Deila's side has found their legs at the same time that Castellanos has rediscovered his scoring touch, coming away with his first multi-goal effort since a hat trick against the New York Red Bulls on November 1. For Miami, they'll hope that this is just a mere bump in the road in what has been a decent run of games since falling 5-0 against the New England Revolution on July 21.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Castellanos reached into his bag of tricks after NYCFC were awarded a kick from the spot in first-half stoppage time, completing his first-half brace with a Panenka that caused Marsman to guess the wrong way.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Castellanos is the easy call here. His only regret will be coming off the pitch without a hat trick, but his terrific night ensured that the Cityzens' unbeaten streak against MLS opponents lived on.

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