New York City FC edged the New England Revolution 1-0 in an extra time thriller at Belson Stadium on the St. John’s University campus Wednesday night.
The victory – secured thanks to a 94th minute goal by second half sub Santiago Rodriguez – sends NYCFC to the Quarterfinals of the 2022 US Open Cup, where they will meet their rival New York Red Bulls on either June 21 or 22.
NYCFC extended its unbeaten run to 10 games across all competitions.
After being eliminated in their first four Open Cup appearances (2015-18) to the New York Cosmos and New York Red Bulls (twice each), NYCFC has enjoyed back-to-back Quarterfinal appearances.
“Tough place to play here, tough surface,” said NYCFC head coach Ronny Deila. “They fought really hard. They were organized, tough to break down … but we created the most chances, and I thought we deserved to win in the end. The attitude was very good.”
Rodriguez’s goal broke open what had been a frustrating game for New York as New England – playing with a lineup made mostly of reserves – held back the hosts despite spending most of the match chasing the ball and in their own end of the field.
But New York’s moment came shortly into the first extra-time period. Revolution central Andrew Farrell misplayed a pass behind the center circle and Valentin Castellanos closed in, launching a speedy breakaway as New England’s back line hustled back.
Castellanos then sent a pass to the top of the area, where Rodriguez emerged unmarked to smash the game’s lone goal into the back of the net past Djordje Petrovic.
“We were expecting them to sit back, with pretty much all their players behind the ball,” said NYCFC midfielder Justin Haak. “But we knew that if we were just patient – they couldn’t keep up with our tempo, because not many teams can.”
The match served as a sort of rematch to last year’s MLS Eastern Conference semifinal, where NYCFC defeated the Revolution on penalties at Gillette Stadium. On paper, it was an intriguing matchup between last year’s MLS Cup champions (NYCFC) and last season’s Supporters’ Shield winner (New England).
Wednesday’s atmosphere was less of a high octane affair, though an announced crowd of 1,988 got to experience another extra-time thriller between the rivals.
That said, both teams produced chances that could have settled things in regulation.
New York produced the first major scoring opportunity of the game, with Petrovic having to make a double save on Andres Jasson off a 13th minute corner kick.
The Revolution, playing without several starters – including Matt Turner, Adam Buksa, and reigning TheCup.us Player of the Round Carles Gil – returned fire at the stroke of halftime, with Luis Barraza dropping low to Esmir Bajraktarevic’s header off a Justin Rennicks cross.
Barraza also halted Damian Rivera’s low drive at the far post in the 50th minute, and stopped Gustavo Bou’s one-time hit from the top of the box in the first minute of extra time.
New York is also now 7-9-5 against the Revolution across all competitions, with the two teams’ next meeting set for July 9 at Yankee Stadium in the MLS regular season.
When asked about NYCFC’s title ambitions – particularly as reigning MLS Cup champions – Haak praised his team’s depth and mentality.
“We have the best environment in the league,” Haak said. “We rotated eight players, and New England did the same, but our quality is much higher than theirs. Many teams don’t have the depth we have. Even if you don’t get to see the other players all the time, anybody can step up at any moment.”