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New York City 3, Philadelphia 1 - as it happened!

City earns homefield advantage for the knockout round in impressive season finale

MLS: Philadelphia Union at New York City FC Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

FT: New York City cruises past Philadelphia 3-1.

Following a string of disappointing performances, the Bronx Blues finally gave fans something to be excited about by comfortably dispatching of a dangerous Union team and clinching a playoff game at Yankee Stadium against an opponent yet to be determined.

Chanot began the scoring on a corner kick, while a Union own goal and a Villa rebound followed in the first half. Sean Johnson also came up big by saving a penalty kick he himself conceded.

This is exactly the type of game NYCFC needed going into the playoffs. Few complaints can be found with this performance.

87’: Ebenezer Ofori comes on for Maxime Chanot. The center back’s early goal was the catalyst to this impressive performance from City. Given the fact that Ofori is a midfielder, I expect a tactical change of some sort.

85’: Ismael Tajouri-Shradi comes on for Jesus Medina. The Paraguayan put in a solid shift, but we’ve definitely seen better from him.

68’: Maxi Moralez comes off for Eloi Amagat. It was a good shift for the Argentine who contributed his usual brilliant distribution. Wish we didn’t have to see Eloi. But if there’s any time to start making inroads towards actually producing for the club, I guess this is as good a time as any.

61’: Alan Kelly awards Philadelphia a penalty, but it is saved by Sean Johnson! Everything is working for NYCFC tonight.

50’: The Blues have started the second half well. They are moving the ball with aplomb and have already created some dangerous chances within the first 5 minutes.

The second half has begun! Can NYCFC maintain their stranglehold on Philadelphia and clinch a game at Yankee Stadium?

HT: NYCFC is up 3-1 thanks to goals from Maxime Chanot and David Villa, as well as a Union own goal.

Apart from one defensive lapse, it was a really good showing from City and possibly the best half of football we’ve seen from them in a long, long time. This is exactly the type of performance that was needed before the playoffs. Plus, as it stands, New York City has homefield advantage.

34’: GOOOOOOOAAAALLL! David Villa converts on a second-chance finish! Order has been restored, as City jumps ahead 3-1.

What started out looking like a potential barn burner has now slowed significantly. Though City remain in control of possession, they are not as potent on the attacking side as they were in the first 15 minutes. That Philly goal may have brought them down to earth.

14’: Goal, Philadelphia. NYCFC became too lax on defense as a Philyl attacker is able to sneak through and convert a one-on-one against Johnson. Hopefully, it’s only a momentary lapse.

10’: GOOOOOOAL! Philly scores on themselves, and now the Blues have a two-goal cushion. When it rains, it pours for Philly. At least, for now

8’: GOOOOOOOAAAAL!!! Maxime Chanot!

City’s corner is converted and they take a crucial 1-0 lead. That goal seemed a long time coming!

Good first five minutes for the Blues! If not for Blake’s impressive save, City would have a 1-0 advantage right now.

1’: We’re off in the Bronx! This is it, ladies and germs.

In many ways, this could be considered City’s first playoff game.

Rosters are out! For some reason, Domé didn’t find it appropriate to start Ismael Tajouri-Shradi due to some issues in training this week. Luckily for us, the viewers, Taty Castellanos isn’t starting. Instead, Ronald Matarrita will start on what looks to be the right flank.

Additionally, Yangel Herrera makes his long-awaited return to the Starting XI. His presence should come with much fanfare as NYCFC’s incredible downward spiral from first to below could be traced all the way back to his injury back in May.


New York City Starting XI:

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Tommy McNamara, M - Yangel Herrera
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Cedric Hountondji (hamstring injury); QUESTIONABLE: F - Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (ankle injury)

Philadelphia Starting XI:

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - David Accam (sports hernia surgery); QUESTIONABLE: M - Fabian Herbers (left hip strain)

Referees: Alan Kelly (referee); Corey Rockwell, Corey Parker (assistant referees); Fotis Bazakos (4th official); Dave Gantar (VAR)

How To Watch

Match date & time: October 28, 2018, 4:30 pm.

Venue: Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, NY

Online streaming: Fox Sports GO


Local radio: WNYE 91.5 FM — English; WADO 1280 AM — Spanish.

All-time series: New York City FC and the Philadelphia Union have met a total of eight times to date. NYCFC has the edge in that series, winning 4 games while Philly has won 3, with the outlier being a draw.

This Decision Day matchup is vitally important to both teams. With a win or draw, City will finish 3rd and lock up homefield advantage for their knockout playoff round but could finish as low as 5th with a loss. For the Union — who are currently 4th in the Eastern Conference — they can finish as low as 6th with a defeat in the Bronx.

This post will update with highlights and information as we receive it.