Nogueira plays spoiler in Union victory over NYCFC

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

CHESTER, PA – New York City just found one more reason to hate Philadelphia.

After a listless first half, New York City FC managed to repel a one goal deficit on the back of captain David Villa, only for Union playmaker Vincent Nogueira to dash their efforts with a goal in extra time to give NYCFC their second straight loss in three weeks.

“Another match where I thought we wasted 45 minutes,” NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis said. “For whatever reason, I don’t know the answer to it, and I don’t think anyone has it quite yet, but we have to figure it out pretty quickly: we can’t seem to start a match the right way. We’ve had one good start to a match, and that was the home match we won. So we’ve got to sort through that. But, the reaction and response in the second half was very good.”

The victory is the first for Philadelphia this season (1-3-2, 5 pts.), putting them in a race with NYCFC (1-2-2, 5 pts.) in the Eastern Conference table.

Philadelphia began the first half in an aggressive stance. After firing a long ball from kickoff into the area, the Union continued to press NYCFC, creating the first goal scoring opportunity of the match in the second minute. Fan favorite Sebastian Le Toux launched a cross towards the right side of the NYCFC goal, finding Eric Ayuk Mbu who fired a shot into the side netting. In the 17th, a Union corner taken by Zach Pfeffer found Steven Vitoria whose headed shot sailed high and wide of Josh Saunders.

The Union attack continued in the 23rd minute with Nogueira leading the charge, springing Andrew Wenger into the box on the far left side. The former Impact striker passed the ball back to the top of the box, finding Vitoria, whose deflected shot trickled towards Saunders. An errant clearance landed at the feet of Nogueira once more, sending a curler safely into the arms of Saunders.

After several missed opportunities, Philadelphia finally broke through in the 26th minute. Wenger won the ball in NYCFC’s half, springing Le Toux forward, finding Ayuk Mbu.  The Cameroonian midfielder struck the ball into an open net — but not before clipping Pfeffer on way to net, robbing him of his first MLS goal.

The Union took the lead into halftime, and were met with a stronger NYCFC side in the second.

David Villa, who missed the Sporting KC match two weeks ago, pulled New York City back into the match. A beautiful passing sequence began with a Ned Grabavoy throw in from the line to Mix Diskerud. The U.S. midfielder played the ball to Villa in the area. The Spanish legend took a quick one-touch pass back to Khiry Shelton, who then sent a touch to Adam Nemec. The Slovakian forward chipped the ball to a returning Josh Williams who found Villa for the finish in the 55th minute.

New York kept the pressure going with Diskerud and Villa bringing pressing on offense. Adding to the Union woes, a bloodied Le Toux had to leave the match after crashing into the boards.

Despite the pressure, CJ Sapong responded with a dangerous shot in the 68th, beating Williams in the box but telegraphing his attempt at Saunders.

Grabavoy nearly made it two in the 73rd for NYCFC, hitting the crossbar from an acute angle and watching on as Javier Calle skied a rebound well over the net.

Nogueira made sure NYCFC would rue their missed opportunities. Once again, it was Wenger pressuring from the left, beating Williams and sending a cross into the box. Saunders tipped the initial feed back to the top of the area where Nogueira was there to put it home.

“You walk away one half feeling very disappointed and disgruntled, but the other half says there’s still good stuff there and I see an end-product that we want to get to,” Kreis said. “But we have got to figure it out pretty quick.”

NYCFC won’t have to wait long for revenge. The two teams meet again this Thursday at Yankee Stadium.

Scoring Summary:

27’ Zach Pfeffer PU

55’ David Villa NYC

90’ +2’ Vincent Nogueira PU

Misconduct Summary:

81’ Michael Lahoud PU (Yellow Card)

85’ Kwame Watson-Siriboe NYC (Yellow Card)

Lineups:

New York City FC:.Josh Saunders, Josh Williams (Kwame Watson-Siriboe 81’), Jason Hernandez, Chris Wingert, Jeb Brovsky Sebastian Velasquez (Khiry Shelton 45’), Mix, David Villa (c), Ned Grabavoy, Andrew Jackobson, Adam Nemec (Javier Calle 72’)

Unused substitutes: Ryan Meara, Kwadwo Poku, Patrick Mullins, Mehdi Ballouchy

TOTAL SHOTS: 7; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 ; FOULS: 9 ; OFFSIDE: 3 ; CORNER KICKS: 1 ; SAVES: 2.

Philadelphia Union: John McCarthy, Maurice Edu, Steven Vitoria, Sheanon Williams, Raymon Gaddis, Vincent Nogueira, Andrew Wenger, Michael Lahoud, Eric Ayuk Mbu (Conor Casey 72’), Zach Pfeffer (Cristian Maidana 84’), Sebastien Le Toux (C.J. Sapong 65’)

Unused substitutes:  Andre Blake, Ethan White, Richard Marquez, Brian Carroll

TOTAL SHOTS: 12; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 10; OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 3.

Referee: Jair Marrufo

Referee’s Assistants: Jeffery Muschik and Danny Thornberry

4th Official: Alex Chilowicz

Attendance: 18,603

  • Ali is my man

    Kreis is right. They have got to figure it out quickly because it’s not good enough. The balance is wrong at the moment. Little progress since opening day – it’s going to take more time. Need Lampard plus a decent DM.

    • Lampard will help, but it’s the width that needs work. That and a consistent showing from the fullbacks. Sign a quality CB, move Wingert to the left, and find anyone better than Velasquez on the wing. Different team.

      • Ali is my man

        I’m glad you made those points. Velasquez is a tricky little player but looks quite feeble. They should gave signed Dane Richards to add quality and experience. Why Kreis doesn’t start Shelton is anyone’s guess.

        Nemec has been poor since day one. Must start Mullins on Thursday.

  • Anonymous

    Kreis is right and so are you Dave, but would have loved to see that disallowed goal stand. Mix & Nemec need to pick it up too.

    All in all, it was a fun evening watching David Villa, then Lloyd Sam and Raul. :-D

    • Ali is my man

      Yes I think that goal should have stood. Mix is trying to do much. If only we had someone Kyle Beckerman running the midfield we’d be in a much better place.

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