Match Recap | AD San Carlos 3-5 NYCFC

of Stefano Bentivogli
See readings

It was a night of firsts for NYCFC in Costa Rica, as new Head Coach Ronny Deila led the Boys in Blue into their first match on the continental stage.

The Norwegian named a familiar XI comprised of returning players from the team’s Eastern Conference topping 2019, including James Sands, the first Homegrown player in Club history, who started at the base of midfield.

Maxi Moralez started the night on the bench, while Jesus Medina was given the opportunity to start and it the Paraguayan who had the night’s first real goalscoring opportunity.

Héber created it, peeling off to the left wing and cutting the ball back for Parks to touch on, but San Carlos goalkeeper Pemberton was there to smother the loose ball at Medina’s feet.

City would not be denied a reward for their dominant start and it was no surprise that Matarrita and Héber were involved, combining sublimely for the opening goal on 13’.

On his old stomping ground, Mata supplied the cross from the left and our Brazilian no.9 did the rest, touching the ball under Pemberton to make it 1-0.

NYC stayed on the front foot with Medina again going close on 21' on a curling shot from the right corner of the penalty box which almost dipped under the bar and on 34', Alex Ring landed a header on the roof of the net, missing the target by inches.

However, the visitors would extend their lead on 34' and it was the irrepressible Héber who doubled his tally for the night.

This time, the cross came from the other full-back, with Anton Tinnerholm bombing down the right side and picking out his Brazilian teammate, who swept in his shot off inside of the far post.

AD San Carlos hit back just before the halftime whistle through Jorman Aguilar to give themselves a lift at a timely moment but Ronny Deila will have been the more satisfied Head Coach at the break after watching his side cause problems for the hosts throughout the 45'. 

NYCFC were given the opportunity to restore their two-goal lead early in the second half when a San Carlos player handled in the penalty area and Héber didn't pass up the chance to score the Club's first-ever Champions League hat-trick and the fourth in Club history, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot.

Alexander Callens extended the lead to 4-1 with a poke home from a corner on 61', before Marcos Mena replied within two minutes to make it 4-2 to NYCFC as the game grew more open and attacking.

Omar Browne closed the deficit again on 78' with a stunning strike from distance which drew Deila's men back to 4-3 but City would have the last word in stoppage-time when Alexandru Mitriță pounced after Maxi Moralez saw a late penalty saved.

With five away goals to take into the second leg next Wednesday, NYCFC will be favorites to advance but Ronny will be warning his men that it's only halftime in this tie.

Other news
Tuesday 31 March 2020
21:20 MLS Major League Soccer Unveils 'MLS Unites' 20:56 News Andrea Pirlo: "FC Barcelona is waiting for me" 10:05 Focus Maxi Moralez: "We'll return to Bergamo"
Sunday 29 March 2020
19:01 News The definitive cult hero of every MLS team, according to their supporters
Friday 27 March 2020
21:17 Focus NYC is the epicenter of Coronavirus in US
Thursday 26 March 2020
18:17 News NYCFC's Maxi Moralez, Valentin Castellanos and Jesus Medina follow stay-at-home orders together — literally
Monday 23 March 2020
17:22 News COVID-19: New Restrictions in NYC 16:36 News Maxi trains with the family and also with Medina and Castellanos
Sunday 22 March 2020
12:10 Focus New York City FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps on FIFA 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
15:39 News NYCFC employee tests positive for coronavirus
Thursday 19 March 2020
23:36 Focus NYCFC confirm first case of COVID-19 in club's sporting department 16:12 Focus MLS extends season suspension in accordance with CDC guidance on COVID-19 14:16 News Maxi Moralez is training with the family
Tuesday 17 March 2020
18:43 Focus New York City FC, essential to keep working
Monday 16 March 2020
21:00 News CDC issues guidance on mass gatherings that could shut down MLS, NWSL and USL for 2 months
Sunday 15 March 2020
18:07 News After CCL win over NYCFC, Tigres UANL rolls on with Liga MX win over FC Juarez
Saturday 14 March 2020
19:15 Focus NYCFC, complicated season in all senses 18:58 News Ring: "Stay healthy and be responsible"
Friday 13 March 2020
19:46 News MLS institutes team training moratorium through March 15
Thursday 12 March 2020
22:00 News Stop the MLS: let's try to explain the COVID-19