The victory is just the latest step forward for a team coming into its own under new head coach Ronny Deila, who was pleased with the display.
“For 70 minutes, we were totally dominant all over the pitch,” he said following the win. “You’re 2-0 up and then you try to keep the result and press high with it all the time and in the first 70 minutes, you can’t do so much better than that. Really, really good with the intensity, the pressure, how we break lines. We create chances, we score two goals. They [FC Cincinnati] have nothing.”
Cincinnati’s best opportunities came after Brandon Vazquez’s 74th minute goal, which Deila admitted was his team’s worst stretch of the match as the opposition began the push for a second.
“The last 20 [minutes], when they get 2-1, we start to get a little bit shaky and they get belief,” the head coach said. “We were suffering after we give them a goal and then we need to have three behind in the end to calm down. After we get [into a] 3-4-3 [formation], we had a good control.”
Though the result was a strong one for NYCFC, the team’s influential midfielder Maxi Moralez came off with an injury after only 30 minutes. Gary Mackay-Steven slotted in well and picked up the assist on the team’s first goal by Alexander Ring in the 39th minute.
NYCFC should have word soon enough as to what kind of injury layoff Moralez could be facing.
“We have to take a scan [Sunday], but it is MCL, inside the ligament,” Deila said. “Hopefully it’s a grade one and not so much, but we have to see [Sunday].”
Despite playing without Moralez for a large stretch of the match, NYCFC still managed 16 shots against FC Cincinnati, just a week after outshooting D.C. United 19-0. Anton Tinnerholm, who scored the game winner against Cincy in the 55th minute, noted that the attack was still an area of improvement as the team only scored twice in those two matches.
“We have to be more clinical in front of the goal,” the defender said. “A lot of teams play like D.C. and Cincinnati against us and we need to find a way to score more goals."