Alex Ring assisted on his team's first two goals before firing in the third from distance, and New York City FC climbed up to third in the Eastern Conference — for the moment — with a 3-1 victory over 10-man Sporting Kansas City on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
Heber added his team-leading ninth goal of the season and Anton Tinnerholm scored his first for NYCFC, which moved above the New York Red Bulls on points and D.C. United on goal difference. Both teams play Saturday.
Ilie Sanchez cut a two-goal deficit in half for SKC four minutes before Ring responded to complete the scoring, and 11 minutes after Roger Espinoza was sent off for a studs-up challenge on Maxime Chanot.
Espinoza was originally given a second yellow for the challenge. But in one of the more unusual Video Review sequences, David Gantar waved off the caution and then awarded a straight red after taking a second look.
- 41' - NYC - Anton Tinnerholm | WATCH
- 54' - NYC - Heber | WATCH
- 73' - SKC - Ilie Sanchez | WATCH
- 77' - NYC - Alexander Ring | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Still with two games in hand on everyone in the East, NYCFC's 1.75 points earned per game is currently the best rate in the conference, slightly above division leaders Philadelphia Union, who are at 1.70. Meanwhile, SKC only have 12 games remaining to make a charge into the postseason after beginning the evening five points beneath the West playoff line. The club has made the postseason every season since 2011.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Heber continues to be the difference maker in NYCFC's attack, and finishes like the stealthy chip he sent over charging goalkeeper Tim Melia show why. He may become even more important to his team if the knock that appeared to send Maxi Moralez out of the match early in the second half proves serious.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Alex Ring. The Finnish international had to sit out last week's win in Colorado due to a card accumulation suspension. By the looks of things — including a late strike from the edge of the 18 — the respite did him plenty of good.