Apr 29, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York City FC forward David Villa (7) plays the ball against FC Dallas during the first half at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
BRONX, N.Y. — There are no undefeated MLS teams left. David Villa made sure of that by scoring a special brace to help New York City FC (6-1-2, 20 points) take down previously unbeaten FC Dallas (3-1-3, 12 points) 3-1 Sunday night at Yankee Stadium. It was NYCFC’s first win against Dallas and David Villa’s first goals against the Texas club, too.
Villa first converted a penalty kick in the 36th minute to break a 1-1 stalemate and score his 400th goal in his storied career before an announced crowd of 22,115.
“It’s the perfect moment,” Villa said.
That moment had the support of Video Assistant Referee Jorge Gonzalez who notified referee Ismael Elfath after an apparent hand ball on FC Dallas center back Reto Ziegler. Replays clearly showed Ziegler alter Anton Tinnerholm’s shot in the area with an extended right arm and Elfath awarded the penalty.
Villa later capitalized on a Dallas mistake at the back to slot home his second of the night, sliding the ball past keeper Jimmy Maurer to extend the lead to 3-1.
The New York City captain helped set up the opening goal with less than three minutes expired when he pulled a ball back for Jo Inge Berget, whose shot hit the post. An alert Jesus Medina pushed in the rebound for his second goal of the season just 2 minutes, 38 seconds into the match. It was the second-fastest goal in NYCFC history.
Seven minutes later, Colombian designated player Santiago Mosquera took a pass from Maxi Urruti and slotted the Dallas equalizer past NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
Villa ranks fifth among active goal scorers across the globe. Spain’s all-time talisman tails Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Luis Suarez.
New York City coach Patrick Vieira said Villa’s second goal on the night embodied the kind of player that he has been for the club. The captain managed to fight off Matt Hedges and Ziegler before netting No. 401.
“He fights for it – the goal wasn’t there,” Vieira said. “He fight against two defenders and he didn’t give up. He was there, the moment he showed his desire to score that goal. He’s a fighter, especially when he’s inside the box. If you are a different kind of player you might give up – but David always thinks he has a chance to score the goals.”
“I don’t know how to play any other way,” Villa said. “I need to continue – I can’t think about my age. I need to keep fighting.”
The 36-year old striker has now scored against every MLS team with the exception of Colorado and expansion LAFC who will host NYCFC in the first ever meeting between the two on May 12.
New York City has not lost back-to-back matches since April of 2016 and with the win move a single point ahead of Atlanta United in the Eastern Conference and the overall standings in MLS.