NEW YORK – David Villa got things going, and late substitutes Mix Diskerud and Kwadwo Poku put a bow on New York City FC’s comprehensive 3-1 victory Saturday night at Yankee Stadium over the Montreal Impact for the expansion side’s first-ever winning streak.
Villa’s team-leading fourth goal of the season in the 31st minute stood up until the final 15 minutes when Poku set up a Diskerud goal in the 76th minute before adding on himself in the 90th.
Wandrille Lefevre scored Montreal’s only goal, briefly giving his team life in the 88th minute before Poku put things out of reach for the visitors.
New York’s two straight wins give them 14 points from 15 games and create a three-team tie at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. That tie includes Montreal, whose own two-game winning streak was snapped to leave them with 14 points from 11 games.
NYCFC’s lead came after a dominating display early in the game. Patrick Mullins settled a cross from Thomas McNamara and tapped to Mehdi Ballouchy, who was quickly swarmed by Impact players. The Moroccan midfielder slipped the ball to his right where an in-stride Villa struck from 12 yards.
It was just the second time this season NYCFC scored the first goal and led in the first half.
NYCFC had plenty of chances for an earlier lead. Their first quality chance came in the 11th minute when Villa latched onto an R.J. Allen cross from the right, but the Spanish legend’s downward header bounced wide of the net.
Montreal’s best chance to equalize in the first half came in the 37th minute when Andres Romero nearly capitalized on a defensive miscue, but Josh Saunders dove to his right to parry away the shot for an Impact corner kick.
One minute into the second half, Villa nearly had his second on a stinging shot from eight-yards out, but Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush made a diving save. NYCFC got another golden chance when, in the 51st minute, Allen made a perfectly timed slide tackle in midfield and played an even better ball to Mullins, but he poked the ball wide of the near post from 16 yards.
It was Diskerud, who came on in the 65th minute after having netted the equalizer in a 2-1 US national team win over Germany on Wednesday, who got the second goal for NYCFC. The midfielder received a ball from Poku, who dispossessed Lefevre at the top of box, took a touch and fired the ball in from 16-yards out.
But Poku slammed the door two minutes later when he took a pass from Villa and scored his first career MLS goal.
New York City FC next play in their first-ever US Open Cup match when they head to Long Island on Wednesday to meet the New York Cosmos in a fourth-round matchup. The Impact return home to meet Orlando City FC on Saturday.