The star of the show was Heber, starting in his first-ever game since arriving in late March from Croatian club HNK Rijeka. He laced hem in the 56th minute, putting a game to bed that was already belonging to NYCFC after Alexandru Mitrita riffled home a 35th-minute strike that deflected off D.C. center back Frederic Brillant.
The scoreline could have been more lopsided if not for some misfortune for NYCFC's Maxi Moralez, who smashed a penalty kick off the post in first-half stoppage time. Moralez then hit the post yet again in the 56th minute, evading a full-stretch dive from Bill Hamid.
A big part of D.C.’s quiet afternoon came down to a formation change from head coach Dome Torrent. He deployed NYCFC with three center backs, with 18-year-old James Sands anchoring the group with play beyond his years.
- THE BIG PICTURE: For the third straight match, D.C. United failed to secure all three points and were held scoreless at Audi Field. This 0W-2L-1D home stretch is the club’s worst at their new soccer stadium. Meanwhile, NYCFC put forth their best performance of 2019 with the win giving the Cityzens their first of the season, leaving the Colorado Rapids as the only winless club in MLS.
Allen Chapman blows the final whistle on an impressive #NYCFC win, their first of the season. #DCU is 0-2-1 in their last 3 at #AudiField, their worst 3-game stretch here, conceding 6 and scoring 0. And that's DESPITE seeing the opponent miss a penalty in each loss. #DCvNYC #MLS— Ian Quillen (@IaqDiesel) April 21, 2019
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: When Maxi Moralez smashed his first-half penalty kick off the post, it looked as though D.C. had received a lifeline to crawl back in the second 45 minutes. The opposite happened, though, as the home side failed to build much offense and NYCFC put the game to bed. A possible momentum swing dissipated as quickly as it arrived.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: The only logical option here is Heber, who produced quite the first start in MLS. He laced home a left-footed shot in the second half to make it 2-0, having already assisted Alexandru Mitrita’s eventual game-winner. It’s too early to call Heber a David Villa replacement, but it’s becoming clear why the Brazilian scored 25 goals in 38 appearances last year for Croatian side HNK Rijeka.