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NYCFC II sink Chicago Fire II with second-half barrage

The 3-0 win avenged last week’s frustrating loss to Columbus Crew 2

MLS: US Open Cup-Rochester New York FC at New York City FC
Luis Barraza kept Chicago Fire II quiet.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

NYCFC II defeated Chicago Fire II through a trio of second half goals. After losing to Colombus Crew last weekend 1-0 in a frustrating match, NYCFC rediscovered their goalscoring ways through Justin Haak, Massimo Murania, and El Mahdi Youssoufi.

NYCFC held just shy of 60% possession and outshot Colombus 17 to 6 last weekend. Columbus also got a red card in the 71st minute, and yet the Young Pigeons couldn't take advantage. Columbus’s Jacen Russell-Rowe scored the only goal of the game after center-back Vuk Latinovich was dispossessed inside the box.

Latinovich wasn’t in the lineup against Chicago yesterday. Luis Barraza, Andres Jasson, and Justin Haak all got starts at Belson Stadium, and it was Haak who scored the opener when he headed in his first goal of the season in the 55th minute.

Game Stats

NYCFC: 17 shots, 6 on goal, 61% possession, 489 passes, 89.2% accuracy

Chicago Fire II: 5 shots, 3 on goal, 39% possession, 306 passes, 67.6% accuracy

NYCFC II kept the foot on the gas after that goal, and were awarded a penalty in the 78th minute as the referee deemed that the ball hit Chicago’s Diego Armando Alvarado’s hand inside the box. Massimo Murania’s penalty hit the diving goalkeeper’s legs and deflected into the back of the net to double the lead. The penalty marked Murania’s third goal of the season, with his other two coming against Miami.

Barraza came up with a strong double save three minutes later to preserve his second clean sheet of the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season. In the subsequent corner, Barraza gathered the ball and punted it up to Youssoufi—it echoed how Sean Johnson knocks the ball downfield the ball to Taty Castellanos. In good Castellanos fashion, Youssoufi gathered the ball after it ricocheted off of a couple of Columbus defenders: With only the keeper to beat, Youssoufi kept it simple, and slotted the ball in the bottom right corner.

It was a welcome goal for Youssoufi. Twice in as many matches he rounded the keeper to shoot on an open goal but failed to score. It was the post that prevented Youssoufi’s goal against Colombus, and a defender’s leg in this game against Chicago.

NYCFC II are now in fourth place in the East with 14 points coming from four wins, three losses, and two ties. The Young Pigeons will next travel to Florida where they’ll play Inter Miami II and Orlando City B.

In case you forgot, the last time NYCFC played Miami they dropped seven goals on them and Romeo Beckham was sent off. It was NYCFC’s first win of the season.

Goals:

NYCFC, Justin Haak 55’

NYCFC, Massimo Murania 78’ (P)

NYCFC, El Mahdi Youssoufi ‘82