NYCFC 2-0 Inter Miami: Castellanos brace helps Boys In Blue dominate Herons
Photo: John Lupo/VAVEL USA 

NYCFC continued their outstanding form as they easily defeated Inter Miami 2-0 at Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening.

Valentin Castellanos scored both goals in the match, the first in the 21st minute and the second from the penalty spot in the first minute of first-half stoppage time as the Boys In Blue climbed to second place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Story of the match

Inter Miami would register the first major chance of the game from a set-piece, as winger Lewis Morgan rifled a shot that stung the palms of goalkeeper Sean Johnson.

It would be the home side that struck the opener in the 21st minute, however, after a beautiful flowing move found Maxi Moralez on the right hand side and he floated an inch-perfect cross that Castellanos headed home.

The Herons thought they had a great chance to equalize just moments later when Gonzalo Higuain was through on goal, but he forward was eventually flagged for being offside.

Castellanos had an excellent opportunity to add a second after closing down a loose ball that put him through on goal, but his finish trickled just past the right-hand post.

Just before halftime, the Boys In Blue did double their lead. A quick throw by Malte Amundsen down the left allowed Moralez to chip a pass into the path of Thiago Andrade and his shot was blocked by the hand of Inter Miami defender Kelvin Leerdam.

Referee Alan Kelly showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Castellanos stepped up to take the spot kick, beating Nick Marsman with a cheeky Panenka down the middle for his fifth goal in the last six games.

In the 65th minute, a corner bounced out to Anton Tinnerholm but his effort did not hit the target. At the other end, Morgan lashed a low effort at goal that was brilliantly tipped wide by Johnson.

Castellanos connected with a header from a Gundumur Thorarinsson cross, but it ended up being comfortable for Marsman. He then beat Herons 'keeper to a 50-50 ball, but his lobbed effort went just narrowly wide.

That was the last meaningful action of the match as the Boys In Blue continue to move up in the standings, stretching their unbeaten run to six games.

Man of the match: Valentin Castellanos

He scored a brilliant first goal after a fine delivery by Moralez and his sublime penalty showed why he's one of the most dangerous players in MLS and a piece of the verstaile, dangerous NYCFC attack.

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