Saturday Evening went from everything is fine to bad at kickoff to even worse three minutes into the match for New York City FC. After Team Captain David Villa was scratched at kickoff, the San Jose Earthquakes piled on to NYCFC with an early goal.

However, the visitors were able to pull together and rally to defeat San Jose 2-1 at Avaya Stadium.

With Villa set to return to the NYCFC lineup after missing the previous two games with an injured calf, the full strength City attack looked to be ready to give a stiff test to the Earthquakes back line, but as the game kicked off, it was announced that Villa was being replaced in the lineup by Jo Inge Berget.

“David was feeling good and after the warm up he was feeling something that couldn’t allow him to be on the field. said NYCFC Coach Patrick Viera. “The players who weren’t supposed to start the game prepared well mentally and this is all a credit to them. It’s good because we are clear about the way we want to play.”

The second part of the 1-2 punch NYCFC took to start the match came in the 3rd minute, when Magnus Eriksson found Yeferson Quintana near post off the corner for the big Uruguayan’s first Earthquakes goal.

It looked to be the Earthquakes’ night as they maintained the lead through halftime, but then a mistake on a corner kick led to the equalizer in the 49th minute when Anton Tinnerholm was found unmarked on the right corner of the 18 yard box. The Swede promptly one timed Maxi Moralez’s corner past a helpless Andrew Tarbell to even the score at 1-1.

The draw was short lived as NYCFC found the back of the net again in the 60th minute when Ismael Tajouri-Shradi blew past Shea Salinas and found a waiting Maxi Moralez who put it home for his third goal of the season.

“The last 25-30 minutes of the first half we controlled the game quite well. The message at halftime was simple: we have to keep playing and then we will create chances. When we have the quality of players up front, we scored. We were really calm, we were composed, and at the end we got the result we wanted.” said Viera.

A furious flurry at the end saw several opportunities for the Quakes, including a Chris Wondolowski goal that was later ruled offsides. But Sean Johnson came up huge for NYCFC, making 6 of his 9 saves in the second half to preserve the three road points.

Sean Johnson comes up with the ball during NYCFC’s 2-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on March 31st, 2018 at Avaya Stadium. Photo by Lyndsay Radnedge.

“We played against a really good team this evening,” said Earthquakes Head Coach Mikael Stahre. “We created a lot of chances, and from my perspective, we deserved one goal in the second half, maybe two.”

San Jose heads back out on the road this Saturday as they head to Philadelphia to take on the Union, wile New York City FC will head back home to Yankee Stadium on Sunday as they welcome Real Salt Lake to town.

Written by Brian Taylor of ProstAmerika

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