BRONX, N.Y. — Jesus Medina struck for a second-half brace, including a penalty kick deep in stoppage time, to lift New York City FC to a 2-1 win over the 10-man New England Revolution Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Medina leveled in the 70th minute and scored the late winner after referee Silviu Petrescu ruled following video review that Andrew Farrell tripped Alexandru Mitrita in the box.
“We’ve said many times that soccer belongs to the players and I believe in that. It’s not the manager, it’s not the coach, it’s about the players,” NYCFC coach Dome Torrent said. “Right now they work very hard in the facility and it’s important that every single player is ready to play. We lose Heber, we have another player. I’m very happy, especially for Jesus [Medina] because before the game I said you have to be ready against New England.”
NYCFC (15-5-8, 53 points) came from behind to stretch its season-long winning streak to five games and move into first place, two points clear of the idle Philadelphia Union. The Revolution (10-10-9, 39 points) had a four-match unbeaten streak snapped and remain in sixth place in the East, two points clear of the playoff line.
“It’s not easy to have games in hand knowing you have to win to go on top,” Alex Ring said. “I ‘think it’s easier to set the pace and then let the others look, try to stay behind you,” Ring said. We’re just going from game to game. Now we play on Wednesday again. That’s all we focused on. It’s nice to be top of the table, but if we’re not there at the end of the regular season, then it doesn’t mean anything for me.”
Before Medina’s dramatic decisive goal — his third of the season — Revs goalkeeper Matt Turner was the Man of the Match with nine saves.
Juan Fernando Caicedo put the Revs in front 94 seconds after kickoff, latching onto Andrew Farrell’s long ball and racing behind the NYCFC defense.
Sebastien Ibeagha chased him down, but slipped, allowing the Colombian an open look and Caicedo buried his attempt past Brad Stuver for his fifth goal of the season.
The good feeling for the visitors didn’t last long, though. Antonio Delamea was sent off by Petrescu for denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity following video review in the 9th minute.
Sep 7, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New England Revolution defender Andrew Farrell (2) defends against New York City FC midfielder Maximiliano Moralez (10) during the first half at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
NYCFC immediately pressed for the equalizer, often with Anton Tinnerholm finding acres of space down the right flank. But Turner did well to stymie an early chance from Keaton Parks, while Farrell slid to break up Tinnerholm’s cross intended for Taty Castellanos.
“We lost so it doesn’t really make anything better. No silver linings,” Turner said. “Had the chance to get three [points], had the chance to get a point, and we gave it all away. No silver linings really.”
New England coach Bruce Arena made a tactical change in the 22nd minute, bringing Jalil Anibaba on for Caicedo to fortify the backline.
Turner again did well to dive to his right to save Castellanos’ full volley after receiving a lobbed pass from Maxi Moralez in the 26th minute.
It was more of the same from Turner after halftime, denying Alex Ring on an open shot in the box in the 50th minute and saved Medina’s sliding attempt in the 64th minute.
“We did fine. Obviously, Matt Turner did well,” Arena said. “We conceded some good chances and all, but we were put behind the eight ball. We were put in a difficult situation with the red card.”
Medina, who came on for Ibeagha on the hour mark, finally broke through in the 70th minute, tapping in a Tinnerholm cross from the edge of the 6-yard box. The Paraguayan followed with a cool touch from the penalty spot in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time, rolling to the left of Farrell, who dived the other way.
“Maxi asked me if I was confident and I told him I was,” Medina said. “I needed it and I think he knows that, and so he gave me the opportunity and I’m happy I was able to get the winning goal.”