Ismael Tajouri-Shradi converts his penalty kick. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

BRONX, N.Y. – New York City FC celebrated its return to Yankee Stadium Wednesday night by registering a 4-1 win over struggling D.C. United.

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi did most of the celebrating striking twice within a eight-minute span to turn a deadlocked game into three points.

The win enabled NYCFC (26 points), which was forced to play all of its home match at Red Bull Arena across the river due to the COVID-19 pandemic, improved to 8-6-2. D.C. (2-9-5, 11) continued to cement its place at the bottom of the 14-team Eastern Conference.

It was a one-sided game from start to finish as the statistics favored City, which outshot United, 32-8, and enjoyed a 72-28 percent possession advantage.

NYCFC played without midfielder Alexandru Mitrita, who will miss the next three matches due to international due with Romania and perhaps more as a loan agreement with Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli is looming, according to reports.

Even without fans, NYCFC played an inspired game.

“We miss the fans, of course,” head coach Ronny Deila said. “If we get them in here, it’ll be great. We have to make our own atmosphere and I think the boys did that really good in the second half today. It can be easy to drop a little bit down and get quiet and we could have had problems today, but we pushed the tempo in the second half and that was good.”

Added Tajouri-Shradi: we know it was going to be difficult to get through, but we scored an early goal. It was very important. We conceded a goal, then we knew it was going to be tough to get through. We kept going. … The second half we played amazing…to continue to play how we play. It was a good performance.”

In a rarity, the first part of the game was dominated by penalty kicks. In fact, the first three goals were scored from the penalty spot with Tajouri-Shradi connecting for the tie-breaking PK in the 55th minute.

D.C.’s Alex Sjoberg was called for a handball in the area as he slid trying to stop Alex Ring’s left-wing cross. Tajouri-Shradi ripped his shot toward the right corner. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid managed to get his right hand on the ball, which deflected into the left side of the net to snap a 1-1 tie.

Tajouri-Shradi gave the hosts some breathing room in the 63rd minute, slipping a right-wing feed from defender Anton Tinnerholm for a 3-1 advantage.

It was the third game in a row that an NYCFC player had scored twice. Tajouri-Sharadi recorded a brace for the fifth time in his City career.

With the game only four minutes old, Valentín Castellanos, who was fouled in the box by Julian Gressel, converted the first PK, firing a shot into the lower left corner.

United equalized in the 12th minute behind as Castellanos was called for a hand ball in the area. Ola Kamara deposited his spot kick into the left past goalkeeper Sean Johnson for a 1-1 tie.

After Tajouri-Shradi’s early second-half heroics, Keaton Parks put the exclamation point on the win, heading home Gudmundur Thórarinsson left-wing cross from six yards.

It was Parks’ second goal of the season and Thórarinsson’s first point with NYCFC.