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Blue Thunder (Snap Judgments: NYCFC vs. Minnesota United, 06.29.17)

Robert Cole/ALOST
After missing more than a month of action due to a knee injury, soccer legend and NYCFC midfielder Andrea Pirlo returned to the pitch as a substitute in the 78th minute of tonight's game vs. Minnesota. (Robert Cole/ALOST)
After missing more than a month of action due to a knee injury, soccer legend and NYCFC midfielder Andrea Pirlo returned to the pitch as a substitute in the 78th minute in tonight’s game vs. Minnesota. (Robert Cole/ALOST)

 

NEW YORK — After an early mistake cost it a goal, New York City Football Club more than made up for that to continue its good run of form.

Alexander Callens, Jack Harrison and David Villa each scored for NYCFC as they stormed back from a goal down to earn a convincing 3-1 win over Minnesota United, the team’s fourth consecutive victory in league play. NYCFC are now unbeaten in their last five MLS contests, scoring at least two goals in each of those games.

It turned out to be a dominant performance for the men in blue, but not before they conceded in the 8th minute. NYCFC goalkeeper Eirik Johansen – standing in for regular goalkeeper Sean Johnson, away on international duty for the CONCACAF Gold Cup – misplayed a long-range shot from midfielder Johan Venegas, leaving a juicy rebound for Christian Ramirez to pounce on to give Minnesota the lead. For the expansion Loons, that goal marked the first time in franchise history that they held a lead in an away game in MLS competition. (Tonight was Minnesota’s ninth road game in league play this season.)

NYCFC was relentless in piling on the pressure, however, as they outshot Minnesota United 11-3 in the first half, and that pressure finally tolled in the 38th minute. Defenders Ben Sweat and Alexander Callens played off of each other on the left flank, with the latter shooting past Minnesota goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth for his second goal of the season to knot the contest.

Like Minnesota in the first half, NYCFC took less than 10 minutes from the start to tally in the second half, with Jack Harrison heading home a cross from the left from striker Rodney Wallace to give New York its first lead of the contest. Harrison’s goal marked the second time in as many league games that he has scored.

It was only a matter of time before the in-form striker in the entire league was going to be heard from, as David Villa made a dashing run on the right before curling a left-footed drive from just inside the penalty area past a diving Shuttleworth to give NYCFC a 3-1 lead in the 63rd minute. All told, NYCFC outshot Minnesota 20-6.

Minnesota remains winless on the road, losing seven of their nine games away from TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

*Editor’s note: Above the story is the photo gallery from today’s game, with all photos taken by our senior photographer, Robert Cole. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 20 pictures in total.

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