David Villa and Frederic Brillant scored three minutes apart and 10-man New York City FC snapped the Chicago Fire's league unbeaten run at 11 matches with a 2-1 victory on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
David Accam struck a thunderbolt to pull a goal back for Chicago, which saw its streak snapped despite playing a man up for the final 78 minutes after Yangel Herrera's dismissal for a second bookable offense.
The second-place Fire remain a point behind Eastern Conference leaders Toronto FC, who were set to play later Saturday, and only a point ahead of third-place NYCFC, who visit the Reds next weekend.
- PULLING YOUR HERRERA OUT: The Venezuelan U-20 international a had a full match’s worth of confrontation with referee Allen Champman during his 11-plus-minute cameo. First, Chapman did not point to the penalty spot after Herrera went down under a challenge by Chicago’s Johan Kappelhof. Then Chapman issued two cautions in the stretch of four minutes to Herrera, the second for a challenge in which Herrera caught Bastian Schweinsteiger late on the top of his foot.
- IT JUST WOULDN’T COME: Chicago pressured ferociously for an equalizer over the 36 minutes, but perhaps karma was with the hosts. Sean Johnson did his part with seven saves, including several of the exceptional variety. But the Fire also saw Nemanja Nikolic’s goalbound backheel chested off the line by Ethan White in the 65th minute, and Juninho’s screamer rattle the right upright in second-half stoppage time.
- LEWIS’ EXPEDITION: After two appearances off the subs bench, 20-year-old Jonathan Lewis made his first MLS start on Saturday afternoon and assisted Villa’s 14th goal of the season three minutes after halftime. He also found himself in dangerous spots several times in the opening 45 minutes in particular, and nearly had his first goal when his effort forced Matt Lampson into a reaction save with his right foot.
- NYC: Sunday, July 30 – at Toronto FC (2 pm ET | ESPN, TSN)
- CHI: Saturday, July 29 – at Sporting Kansas City (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE)