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NYCFC Pull Off Late Victory Against Puerto Rican National Team



Puerto Rico, known for its rich history, tropical climate, diverse natural scenery, traditional cuisine and attractive tax incentives, makes it a popular destination for visitors from around the world. It was also a popular spot for NYCFC to visit for an post-season exhibition with the Puerto Rican National Team. 7,850 fans came out to Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium to see the likes of David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, and Frank Lampard. New NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira was also in attendance with Director of Football Operations Claudio Reyna to watch the team that he is going to be working with in the upcoming season.

The game started out quickly in NYCFC’s favor, as NYCFC jumped out to an early lead in the 7th minute after Puerto Rico scored an own goal off an R.J. Allen cross. Team captain David Villa came so close to scoring, but he was repeatedly denied.  Villa blasted a shot in the third minute but was stopped by Puerto Rico goalkeeper Matthew Sanchez. Sanchez denied Villa again in the 13th minute. In the 23rd minute Villa rocketed a shot that was deflected and hit the crossbar. Goalkeeper Josh Saunders was clutch when necessary before halftime, making three key saves to keep Puerto Rico off the scoreboard to end the first half. Puerto Rico continued to put pressure on the team to begin the second half. They force an own goal in the 66th minute to tie the game up at 1-1. After this goal, Puerto Rico was hungry for more. Puerto Rico scored two more goals, but were both were called back because of an offside. In the 91st minute, Ghanaian striker Kwadwo Poku pushed his way past the defender and slipped the ball past the goalkeeper to win the game for NYCFC.

After the game, captain Villa said, “It’s been a very good trip for us. For the club. To receive this love from the fans. Thanks to everyone for these past few days”. It was indeed a good trip for NYCFC. The stars shined bright in Puerto Rico. NYCFC needed a hero to win the game for them, and they got it in fan favorite Kwadwo Poku. #WeAreOne

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