New York City FC picked up a much needed win against the Columbus Crew on Wednesday and could be in first place by the weekend but head coach Dome Torrent was vocal about his team’s Jekyll and Hyde performance. A dominant first half which led to just one goal was followed up by a half that saw City nearly surrender the lead on multiple occasions.
“We played one of the best first halves of the season and one of the worst second halves of the season,” said Torrent following the game. “I have to convince them if they play long ball, they have to have control and have this quality to play. For the effort I am very happy, I love this team and I love the players; they’re family.”
Valentin Castellanos scored the game’s only goal in the 36th minute, taking advantage of a woeful Columbus defense. His run beyond the backline normally would be offside but lazy defending allowed him to spring into the box well before Maxi Moralez could get his foot onto the ball, opening up space. The result was a well-deserved first half goal but left much to be desired by the final whistle.
David Accam in particular was dangerous in the second half, forcing Sean Johnson into a number of saves that left an uneasy feeling hanging over a game that should have been an easy result. City didn’t continue their first half dominance but were able to hold on for Johnson’s 60th career MLS shutout and continued dominance at Yankee Stadium.
“For me the most important game is the next,” said Torrent about the upcoming Hudson River Derby on Saturday against New York Red Bulls. “It is good news for us because everyone is waiting to play against the Red Bulls. So I will have to choose the right players.”
City rested key players such as Alexandru Mitrita who only played 30 minutes. The team has a quick turnaround but so do the Red Bulls who also won their game on the road against rivals DC United. A win for NYCFC could move them into first place as they sit just one point back of Atlanta United with a game in hand.