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NYCFC Pulls Out of Chicago With a W in Vieira’s Debut



It was certainly a wild debut for new NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira’s as New York City pulled out a 4-3 over the Chicago Fire in the club’s season opener. The offense was on display, while the defensive woes for NYC carried on into this year, as at certain points of the match the defense looked outmatched and defensive blunders led to opportunities for Chicago to score.

This attack start yielded its reward on nine minutes when Vieira’s side punished Lampson’s miscued clearance in stunning style courtesy of McNamara’s 20-yard goal – the midfielder opening up his body and arcing the ball around the stranded goalkeeper.

However, this lead would only last for nine minutes as Cociș leveled on 19’, latching onto a clever chip over the New York backline by Arturo Alvarez and slotting past the onrushing Josh Saunders.

Tony Taylor restored NYCFC’s advantage just before the half an hour mark, pivoting and firing off a snapshot which found the bottom corner of the net and it got even better ten minutes before the interval when Khiry Shelton showed his lightning pace to reach onto Mix Diskerud’s through ball and poked the ball under the goalkeeper.

That two-goal advantage would only last for three second half minutes as Kennedy Igboananike reduced the deficit after David Accam capitalized on some indecisive defending and gave his fellow forward a tap-in.

Just as Chicago were working through the gears and threatening a second equalizer, Diskerud fired in the best goal of game on the 62’ – an excellent volley from McNamara’s assist.

Shelton’s handball allowed Accam to pull Fire back to within a goal of NYCFC from the penalty spot with 20 to go but Vieira’s side closed ranks and held out for a deserved win.

After the game, Vieira’s commented on the team’s performance, ” think it was a really good team performance. I strongly believe we are not at our best at the moment because it was the first game of the league. We will get better and stronger. But I am proud of the team because when we went to a difficult [formation] especially in the last 15-20 minutes, we stuck together and we worked hard.”

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes, and there are many questions still to be answered, but for now, a win is a win and NYCFC got the three points they needed to start the season in a positive direction.


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