Villa, Shelton carry NYCFC over D.C. United

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by Christian Araos

After being stymied for the first half, New York City FC broke through the D.C. United defense to score twice in four minutes and collect a 2–0 win Sunday evening.

David Villa and Khiry Shelton each scored early in the second half as NYCFC won consecutive games for the first time in 2016. Villa scored in the 49th minute running onto a Thomas McNamara lay off and finishing the chance. Shelton scored in the 53rd leaping over the United defense to meet a Ronald Matarrita cross from left wing.

Villa’s seventh goal moved him into a three-way tie atop the MLS goalscoring charts. He and the rest of the City attack, however, struggled to turn their possession into chances in the early going. They finished the first half holding more than 60 percent of the possession but only generated one shot on target.

The City attack struggled and their defense was fortunate not to concede. Alvaro Saborio had two chances in the first half where he was unmarked facing goal. Saborio failed to get a shot on target in either instance. Josh Saunders rushed off his line to snatch the ball off Saborio’s foot after he had gotten in behind the NYCFC defense. Moments later, Saborio was free atop the six-yard box but skied his effort.

NYCFC took the lead four minutes into the second half. Shelton ran down the right wing, passed three United defenders and crossed for McNamara who laid off for Villa to run onto and beat Travis Worra to his right. McNamara did the dirty work on City’s second by sprinting to a loose ball and passing back to Matarrita. Shelton rose over both of D.C.’s central defenders to re-direct the cross passed Worra.

NYCFC’s defense kept United from recording a shot on target. D.C. only recorded a single shot in the final 20 minutes of the match.

The clean sheet is City’s second in 2016 and their sixth in franchise history.

City have thirteen points through ten games. They will visit Portland Timbers next Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m.