New York City won at home for the first time all season. The Blues, who were mired in a seven-game winless streak going into this afternoon's game, defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-2 in a scrappy game. Even though it's early in the MLS season, this game was as close to a "must-win" as it gets. With NYCFC going on a three-game road trip before returning to play the Red Bulls on May 21, they could ill afford to drop points here at home.
The game started awfully for the Blues, however. 36 seconds into the game, NYCFC goalkeeper Josh Saunders got dispossessed by Vancouver's Nicolas Mezquida, who promptly fed Octavio Rivero, standing before an empty net. The Blues, nevertheless, gamely tried to get back into the game.
It was their talisman -- David Villa -- who dragged them there. In the 35th minute, he scored off a feed from winger Khiry Shelton. Six minutes later, Villa scored again off an Andrea Pirlo corner on a gorgeous half-volley.
In the 63rd minute, right back Ethan White gave up a penalty on a foul in the box. Christian Bolaños had his penalty kick saved by Josh Saunders. He was unable to corral the ball, though, and Bolaños scored on the rebound.
Just ten minutes later, Steven Mendoza scored the first MLS goal of his career. Finding himself thoroughly unmarked at the top corner of the box, the Colombian striker calmly slotted home his shot to the near post, putting New York City in front to stay.
Next up for New York City: Sunday, May 1st, at D.C. United (7:30 pm ET, FS1).