New York City FC logged one of their finest displays of the season to brush aside Eastern Conference rivals Orlando City SC in a commanding 5-0 win at Yankee Stadium on Sunday evening.
HIGHLIGHTS: New York City FC vs. Orlando City SC | July 25, 2021
Five different scorers got in on the fun for NYCFC, with four of the goals coming in the second half as the hosts ran wild against a depleted Orlando side.
After a slow start to proceedings, NYCFC began to gain the ascendancy after the first water break on a barmy night in the Bronx.
The visitors withstood the first five NYCFC attempts, but conceded in the 40th minute thanks to the in-form Jesus Medina. Valentin Castellanos was fouled yards from goal, but not before finding Medina, who made the run into the penalty area and scored from the left side of the box.
The first-half performance provided a perfect foundation for a dominant second half from New York City, who doubled the lead eight minutes into the second half. Malte Amundsen sent a terrific cross from the left side of the pitch to the right. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi received the pass in stride and then cut across the edge of the box before unleashing an unstoppable effort into the top corner on his left foot.
In the 65th minute, it was 3-0 to NYCFC. With Pedro Gallese out of his goal, Castellanos sent the ball across the face of the six-yard box for Moralez. Though the ball hit an Orlando player, it found its way back to the Argentine to apply the simplest of finishes.
NYCFC didn't slow down, scoring a fourth in the 79th minute. Moralez received the ball about a yard from the penalty box and chipped a delightful pass over the Orlando defense for the waiting Orlando players and towards Amundsen, who was right in front of goal and sent the ball past Gallese for his first MLS strike.
Castellanos wrapped up the scoring just three minutes later. Moralez was crucial again, receiving the ball and taking a shot from just inside the penalty area. Gallese was able to save it, but the rebound fell to Castellanos to end his more than two-month goal drought and score his side's fifth of the day.
- THE BIG PICTURE: NYCFC overcame a slow start to the match, putting in the type of unstoppable attacking display their underlying numbers have been threatening for some time. Meanwhile, Orlando couldn't hold defensive shape in the second half, suffering easily their worst defensive performance of the season.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Tajouri-Shradi's individual effort to score the game's second goal was impressive, and began to put the game out of reach for Orlando.
GOAL: Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, NYCFC - 53rd minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Moralez was emblematic of NYCFC's standout day in front of goal, picking up a goal and assist in addition to playing a crucial role in the game's final goal.
- NYC: Friday, July 30 vs. Columbus Crew | 7:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
- ORL: Friday, July 30 vs. Atlanta United | 8 pm ET (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)