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New York City FC 2, New England Revolution 0 | MLS Match Recap

NEW YORK – New York City FC’s stay at Yankee Stadium got off to a rousing start on Sunday, with star forward David Villa scoring a brilliant first-half goal and setting up a late Patrick Mullins insurance strike to help the expansion club to its first-ever victory, a 2-0 win over the 10-man New England Revolution in front of 43,507 in the Bronx.

Villa’s goal in the 19th minute was pure class. It started with a darting run from the left side before the Designated Player cut inside Revs midfielder Andy Dorman and played a quick give-and-go with Ned Grabavoy.

Villa received Grabavoy’s ball just inside the 18-yard box, took two more touches and finished clinically inside the far post for his first MLS goal.

Mullins, a second-half substitute, put the game on ice in the 84th minute when he slid in at the back post to knock in a Villa cross to give New York City FC (1-0-1) a 2-0 lead.

Outside of Villa’s stroke of brilliance, New England (0-2-0) had the better of the scoring chances in the opening 45 minutes. In the 29thminute, Chris Tierney flicked on a Kelyn Rowe corner at the near post, but Lee Nguyen couldn’t quite latch on to it at the back post.

In the 37th minute it was Juan Agudelo’s turn to flick a Tierney service just wide of the net.

New England’s best chance of the first half came in the 42nd minute, when Agudelo latched onto a Diego Fagundez cross, but his diving header in front of goal was dramatically saved by NYCFC ‘keeper Josh Saunders.

A minute later, Agudelo played Rowe behind the NYCFC defense, but the attacker chipped wide.

Virtually all the scoring chances in the second half came from NYCFC, including two for Villa in the opening five minutes after halftime. New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth came up big on both occasions, racing off his line to thwart the first attempt and parrying Villa’s 1-v-1 attempt wide after defender Jose Goncalves slipped to set Villa free on the second.

In the 63rd minute, Mix Diskerud sent an endline cross to Villa, whose first-time side volley was heroically saved by Shuttleworth.

NYCFC rookie forward Khiry Shelton came on for Sebastian Velasquez in the 65th minute and immediately made a big impact. Seconds after coming on, the pacey striker got behind the New England defense and was pulled down from behind by Goncalves, who was shown a straight red card by referee Mark Geiger in the 66th.

Villa blistered the ensuing blistering 20-yard free kick just over the crossbar.

New York saw out the remainder of the match with little trouble, finding the second goal six minutes from time and not allowing the shorthanded Revs much in the attack. 

The Revolution will return to New England for their home opener next week, taking on the Montreal Impact at 3 pm on Saturday. NYCFC will hit the road, heading west to take on the Colorado Rapids next Saturday. 

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