NYCFC build big first-half lead, defeat Orlando City

League: MLS

Posted on: 29 Jun, 2024 at 02:09 AM

Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Santiago Rodriguez scored early and New York City FC added two more goals in first-half stoppage time in a 4-2 victory over visiting Orlando City on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

Rodriguez continued the best season of his four-year career by netting his eighth goal in the 15th minute. Hannes Wolf and Agustin Ojeda scored eight minutes apart during 15 minutes of stoppage time when NYCFC's Malachi Jones collided with Orlando goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar in the 18th minute.

Rodriguez helped NYCFC (10-8-2, 32 points) snap their second three-game skid of the season. NYCFC lost their first three matches of the season before ripping off a 9-2-2 tear. Orlando has one win in its last seven matches (1-4-2).

NYCFC's Monsef Bakrar scored right before the final buzzer after Dagur Thorhallsson finished off a header in the 72nd minute and Duncan McGuire scored in the second minute of second-half stoppage time to bring Orlando (5-9-6, 21 points) within one goal.

Five of the goals occurred after Jones and Stajduhar exited with apparent leg injuries during a collision at the net.

Jones was called offsides on the play and carted off the field while getting replaced by Ojeda. Stajduhar was replaced by Javier Otero, who made his MLS debut.

Jones' injury occurred after he forced Orlando City's Nicolas Lodeiro into a careless turnover that led to Rodriguez's latest goal. Rodriguez finished off the sequence by getting a pass from Alonso Martinez and sending a right-footed shot from well beyond the penalty area into the net.

Rodriguez also contributed to the second goal, sending a pass to Tavyon Gray. Gray kept the ball from going out by outracing Ivan Angulo and sent a pass to Wolf, who finished off a deflection from the center of the box in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Gray got his second assist when he easily cruised into the area slightly outside the box and sent a pass across to Ojeda. Ojeda was open and simply pushed in a right-footed shot from the center of the box into the net.

NYCFC goalkeeper Matt Freese made six saves.

Stajduhar made two saves on Martinez shortly before Rodriguez scored. Otero had one save after entering the contest.

--Field Level Media