Cyle Larin continued to be a difficult man to stop. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
BRONX — Nothing changed at the old ballpark Sunday afternoon.
Orlando City SC continued to dominate New York City FC and Cyle Larin continued to fill the net.
In what has become a regular occurrence, the central Florida side, with the help of Larin, continued it domination of its fellow Major League Soccer expansion team.
This time Larin connected twice for a 2-1 victory before 22,470 spectators at Yankee Stadium, giving in an astounding nine goals in seven matches vs. City. Orlando SC grabbed a two-goal lead before NYCFC woke and pulled one back behind captain David Villa.
The loss snapped NYCFC’s home regular-season unbeaten streak at the stadium at 11 games (9-0-2).
Just as impressive was Orlando continued to rule the roost over NYCFC since the two teams joined the league two years again, enjoying a 5-2-1 advantage.
The Lions walked into the locker room at halftime with a 1-0 lead, thanks to Larin’s eighth career goal against City in the 31st minute.
A big opening day for the boys in blue #NYCFC
تم نشره بواسطة New York City FC في 12 مارس، 2017
Video courtesy of NYC FC Facebook page
Carlos Rivas fed an onrushing Scott Sutter on the right flank and he penetrated into the box before slicing a cross to Larin. The Canadian international slipped between defenders Maxime Chanot and Ethan White and slipped a sliding shot past goalkeeper Sean Johnson for his fifth goal of the season.
For a good portion of the opening 45 minutes, it was frustration for the hosts
Long Island-born Joe Bendik made life difficult for City by making two vital saves.
First, the goalkeeper punched out Alex Ring’s 22-yard blast off an Andrea Pirlo corner kick with the game only 80 seconds old.
Then he punched away Maxi Moralez’s diving header from point-blank range, off a Jack Harrison cross from the right side in the 24th minute.
Only three minutes after Larin’s goal, Bendik kept his net empty again stopping Villa’s left-sided attempt.
Besides the goal, Johnson was tested once in the half, diving to punch away Will John’s one-bounce cross from the right flank in the 38th minute.
Larin — who else? — doubled the lead in the 51st minute, heading in a left-wing cross from six yards for a two-goal advantage and his sixth tally of the season.
As tough as Larin has been on City, Bendik has been just as confounding as he denied Rodney Wallace off a six-yard header in the 68th minute.
Villa finally broke the ice for City in 74th minute, as he latched onto a long feed from Moralez on the right side and beat Bendik at the near post for his fourth goal of the season to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Over the last 15 minutes, NYCFC pushed forward trying for the equalizer.
Only two minutes later, Moralez thought he had knotted things up, but Bendik managed to stab away his attempt from close range.
Harrison unloaded a 23-yard blast that sailed just wide left in the 79th minute.
New York City FC: Sean Johnson; Rodney Wallace, Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot, Ethan White (87′ Miguel Camargo); Maxi Moralez, Andrea Pirlo (56′ Yangel Herrera), Alexander Ring; Thomas McNamara (73′ John Stertzer), David Villa (C), Jack Harrison