For nearly 80 minutes, it looked like New York City FC’s tough week would continue on Saturday.
NYCFC entered the final 10 minutes of their match against Philadelphia trailing 1-0, but answered with a pair of late set-piece goals to rebound from their loss at Atlanta United on Sunday and home draw against the New England Revolution on Wednesday with a 2-1 win against the Union at Yankee Stadium.
Maxime Chanot brought the hosts level in the 80th minute, beating Union defender Richie Marquez to a Maxi Moralez corner kick and heading home inside the left post. Defender Alexander Callens bagged the winner five minutes later, tapping home a rebound after Andre Blake stopped a David Villa shot.
Fafa Picault put the Union ahead in the 69th minute, racing onto a CJ Sapong through ball. Both sides nearly found the back of the net on several other occasions. NYCFC hit the woodwork twice, while Union substitute Roland Alberg hit the post with an 82nd minute free kick.
- UNLIKELY HEROES: Villa, Moralez and Jack Harrison couldn’t breakthrough, but a pair of unlikely heroes – Maxime Chanot and Alex Callens – provided the goals for NYCFC. Both players had never before scored in an MLS match and both tallied off of corner kicks, with Chanot heading home a Moralez cross and Callens cleaning up off a rebound following a Villa shot. Patrick Vieira won’t be able to count on those two to sustain that sort of production, but he’ll have no complaints on Saturday.
- BLAKE BOUNCES BACK: The final result belied a splendid effort from Andre Blake, who bounced back from Villa's goal from midfield in the last Union-NYCFC meeting with seven total saves on Saturday. Several of the stops were Save of the Week quality, including a few plays in which he absolutely robbed Villa.
- MOVIN’ ON UP: The win stopped a two-game mini-slide for NYCFC, and vaulted the Pigeons back into second in the Eastern Conference ahead of the rest of the Week 14 slate. There’s still a long, long way to go in the season, but nipping what looked like a one-point haul from a three-game week in the bud will have NYCFC feeling good heading into the international break.