Mayele Malango opened the scoring for the away side early on, and then Jesus Batiz made it two right before the break. Malango went on to grab his second and his team’s third just past the hour mark before Chris Bermudez made it 4-0 with about 15 minutes to go.
That proved to be the end of the one-sided scoring, capping off a dream night for New Amsterdam and a nightmarish one for Chicago.
Story of the match
The first chance of the contest fell to the hosts just past the 10 minute mark. A clever through ball slipped Wojciech Wójcik through on goal, but his strike from a tight angle was saved by the goalkeeper.
Chicago came even closer just moments later after Michael Kafari won the ball high up the pitch. It fell to Wójcik, who then set up Musa Morris, but his chip attempt went just wide.
They would be made to rue those misses as New Amsterdam then took the lead. A defensive turnover gifted the ball to Mayele Malango, and he did the rest, dribbling to the side before burying a shot into the bottom corner.
The House had the ball in the back of the opposing net when Wójcik calmly slotted home, but the goal was correctly called off since the sideline official’s flag went up for offside.
Mike Novotny was called into action with about 10 minutes to go in the half. Even though a superb free-kick seemed destined for the top corner, the goalkeeper managed to react quickly, getting over to block the effort with an outstretched hand. He had to come up big once again just moments later, as he denied Malango in a 1v1 situation. The rebound fell to a New Amsterdam player, but his deflected attempt hit the post before bouncing away from danger.
It would be 2-0 before the break, though. A loose ball fell kindly to Jesus Batiz at the back post, and he made the most of the fortunate break, converting from close range to double his side’s advantage.
Chicago started the second half on the front foot, and they had another opportunity to score in the 56th minute. A cross picked out the run of substitute Derek Huffman, but he couldn't keep his header on target, ultimately directing the ball wide of goal.
Their fight would be for naught, though, as New Amsterdam effectively put the contest to bed with a third goal. Coming courtesy of Malango once again, he was able to quickly turn after receiving the ball in the area before firing a low shot past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
It was then 4-0 in the 74th minute. Chicago could not clear the ball away in their own area, and after a few saves and blocks, Chris Bermudez was finally able to slot home through the crowd of bodies.
That proved to be the final highlight of the match, as the away side comfortably sailed to the win and all three points.
Chicago’s turnovers cost them in this game, especially early on. Whether at the back or in midfield, they just kept giving the ball away. That led to chance after chance for the opposition, putting an insane amount of pressure on the defense. They conceded as a result, and they’ll have to be better when it comes to keeping possession in the future.
It was a woeful performance from practically every House player, but forward Wojciech Wójcik did at least try to make a genuine impact on proceedings. He made a number of threatening runs in behind, and on another day, he could have very well had a goal, an assist, or both.
New Amsterdam deserves plenty of credit, of course. They knew what they needed to do in this contest, and they did just that, ultimately winning with ease. It was a very strong showing from them, and they’ll now look to build upon this result going into the future.
Man of the match - Mayele Malango
Grabbing a brace on the night, Mayele Malango was a threat throughout the match for New Amsterdam FC.
Both of his goals were very well taken, as he first settled the ball, made a move, and then buried a shot on each occasion. It was a masterclass in clinical finishing, and he would have had a hat-trick if not for some spectacular saves from the opposing goalkeeper.
Even when he wasn’t finding the back of the net, the striker was still involved. He kept making runs in behind and around the defense, which opened up space for himself and his teammates.
He may have been the villain spoiling Chicago’s planned party, but Malango won’t care about that one bit as his performance was key in his team picking up the win and all three points.