NYCFC II knocked off TFC II in a battle of the top-scoring Eastern Conference sides Sunday afternoon in a 4-1 victory at Belson Stadium.
Three second-half goals saw the hottest scoring team in the East come alive to down their intra-conference rivals. A stoppage-time winner from Al Mahdi Yousouffi, his second of the day, secured all three points for NYCFC II, which has yet to lose a match at home this season.
NYCFC II’s Jonathan Jimenez opened the scoring in the 20th minute off a stunning team goal that saw winger John Denis feed him a cheeky backheel assist across the box, setting the tone early in the first half.
El Mahdi Yousouffi gave the home side the lead in the 68th minute, converting from the penalty spot in the 68th after he was taken down in the box.
Midfielder Piero Elias scored their third off a blistering counterattack after being fed by Jack Beer; the midfielder and he didn’t miss from close range.
TFC II came into the contest coming off an impressive 4-2 win over FC Cincinnati 2 at BMO Field in week six but struggled to find any attacking momentum without leading goalscorer Paul Rothrock. The TFC II talisman was brought up to the first team after week six and has been there since.
Their lone goal came from the penalty spot just before the halftime break, where Alonso Coello finished in a calm and composed manner.
Top two attacking teams in the East, TFC II struggled in the attacking-third while the home team flourished. NYCFC II came into the contest with 16 goals scored on the season while TFC II were just behind them with 13.
NYCFC will take their attacking momentum and 20 goals scored back to Belson Stadium in week 8 to take on Columbus Crew 2.
Early success on home ground has NYCFC II on the right track
An early tone-setting goal and three second-half strikes saw NYCFC II jump to 20 goals scored on the season, topping the Eastern Conference in goals scored and the league overall. All three wins for them this season have seen them score at least three goals, with the three wins accounting for 14 of their 20.
Coming off a disappointing 2-1 defeat on the road to Union II, Sunday’s display was exactly what Matt Pilkington’s side needed to get back on track.
The two sides previously met during week three, where TFC II put on a dominant performance at home, winning 3-1 thanks to a brace from Hugo Mbongue and a solo goal from Paul Rothrock. TFC II’s attacking duo were both absent for the clash on Sunday, with both of them being called up to the first team due to impressive performances of late.
With all three points at home, NYCFC II jump from 6th in the East up to 4th, bumping TFC II further down into that 6th place spot. Pilkington’s side have put on impressive performances in their four showings at home, but to climb up the standings as the season goes on, road performances will have to come.
NYCFC II’s lone road points this season came against RNY FC in week five, where they just escaped with the three points courtesy of a stoppage-time winner. Their biggest test of the season awaits them in week 8 when the host Eastern Conference leaders Crew 2.