Taty Castellanos celebrates his goals. (Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports)
CHESTER, Pa. – Taking advantage of a one-man advantage for most of the game, New York City FC registered a 2-0 victory over 10-man Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park Saturday night.
Jesus Medina and Taty Castellanos led the way as they scored their third goal of the MLS season in as many matches for NYCFC (2-1-0, 6 points).
Team captain and goalkeeper Sean Johnson recorded his second consecutive shutout, after last week’s 5-0 trouncing of FC Cincinnati.
“What was important today is that we were committed to the game plan,” Johnson said. “We had a perfect game plan coming in. Players buy in. We do what we’re asked, then everybody takes care of the responsibilities like we did today. I think it was a dominant performance.”
With center back Maxime Chanot sidelined with an adductor injury, Sebastian Ibeagha stepped in.
After Medina found paydirt only five minutes into the match, life got worse for the hosts and better for the visitors in the 16th minute, when Jose Martinez was red carded for elbowing the head of Castellanos.
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“When we want to man up, we got together at halftime to challenge each other and said we got to lift it a little bit,” Johnson said. “We weren’t good enough to get the job done at 1-0. So, second half a lot better and so proud of the performance.”
Head coach Ronny Deila agreed.
“We did a great performance again,” he said. “We were a bit sloppy in the first half, but the second half we started to switch the play more.”
Castellanos made himself felt in the 65th minute, giving NYCFC some breathing room in a match they dominated from start to finish.
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) May 2, 2021
Deila said the second goal was “very important because there was always a chance they would get one big chance, or two.”
“If it’s only 1-0, then you can lose points in the end there,” he added. “I felt we were in full control all the time. We were good at defensive marking. We didn’t give them anything. When we got the second, I was very comfortable that we were going to win the game because the discipline and the hard work was in the boys.”
Medina and Castellanos have given NYCFC an early season one-two punch.
“Those guys are flying right now,” Johnson said. “More importantly, those guys are working extremely hard on the amount of the amount of kilometers they’re putting in every game tracker tracking back. They don’t get enough credit for what they do off the ball as well. Obviously attacking great talents but for me it’s the defensive effort when we’re pressing on working together. Those two and Maxi [Moralez] have been been tremendous, working for us.”