New York City FC remain perfect with win over Orlando City SC
Ismael Tajouri celebrating the opener. | Photo: New York City FC

On Friday, New York City FC announced that they'd have the entire roster available for selection for Saturday's game against Orlando City SC. However, just a few hours prior to kickoff it was announced that David Villa, Anton Tinnerholm, and Jo Inge Berget would miss the match with minor injuries.

The game was pushed back due to Orlando City's bus arriving late, but fans would have been excited to see Josue Colman making the 18 for the first time. The Young DP eventually made his debut for the club as a 76th-minute substitute.

First Half

New York City created the better of the chances with one of those chances coming in the 13th minute after some nifty footwork from Yangel Herrera. The Venezuelan played the ball out wide to Maxi Moralez who lofted the ball to the far post just out of the reach of Rodney Wallace.

Around the 30th minute was when the visitors really grew into the game. A ball played over the top saw NYCFC's goalkeeper, Sean Johnson, beat Orlando's Justin Meram to the ball to snuff out any danger. Just minutes later, NYCFC bounced back as Rodney Wallace's header hit the post from a lovely cross off the foot of Yangel Herrera.

Ismael Tajouri made his first MLS start on Saturday. | Photo: New York City FC
Ismael Tajouri made his first MLS start on Saturday. | Photo: New York City FC

The half ended as a scoreless draw despite a late penalty shout for the hosts as Yangel Herrera was chopped down in the box. No penalty was given, and no goals were scored in the first half.

Second Half

Justin Meram came close to breaking the deadlock just 6 minutes after the second half begun. Once again finding himself in space in the attacking third, Meram beat a man in the box before pulling his shot just wide. On the other end just minutes later, Maxi Moralez found himself in a similar situation and managed to come even closer than Meram had. Despite the early chances, the deadlock was not broken.

The breakthrough came in the 62nd minute when Joe Bendik failed to play the ball out of the back and Ismael Tajouri pounced on it grabbing his first goal in his first MLS start. Tajouri picked up Bendik's failed pass, rounded Amro Tarek and slotted home the goal.

The home side doubled their lead in the 74th minute after some good link play. A ball played into the feet of Jesus Medina was left for Maxi Moralez who made no mistake slotting in his second goal of the season.

The next quarter of an hour saw chances go both ways but none of which found the back of the net. NYCFC won their third of three games and Orlando are still in search of their first win.

What's Next?

NYCFC will look to continue winning way as they prepare for back-to-back away trips when they travel to face the New England Revolution and San Jose Earthquakes to wrap up the month of March.

Orlando has a bye next week but will meet with NYCFC's rivals from across the river as they host the New York Red Bulls on March 31st. After that, the Lions will host a struggling Portland Timbers side.