ORLANDO – NYCFC finally snapped their winless road run in Florida, bouncing back from defeat to Real Salt Lake with a 3-0 victory over Orlando City SC.
On the fourth anniversary of the club’s Founding Day, NYCFC were handed a chance to score their first-ever goal at Orlando City Stadium when Kaka was adjudged to have handled a Rodney Wallace cross.
Villa assumed responsibilities for the spot-kick and slotted it clinically beyond Joe Bendik’s despairing dive on 13’.
“We’re very happy with the match we played,” Villa said. “We were better from the opening whistle to the final. We had more chances, more possession and we controlled the game. The team was very good. Very compact, very together and we’re very happy with how the game went.”
It’s fair to say that the decision wasn’t well-received by The Purple Wall behind the goal as The Lions faithful felt as though it was a harsh call.
Still, Vieira’s men were good value for that early lead after a bright start from the attacking quartet of Villa, Harrison, Moralez and Wallace.
The boys in blue kept their collective foot on the throttle and extended their lead on 34’ thanks to a team goal of the highest quality.
Ethan White overlapped Harrison on the right and delivered a pinpoint cross to the back post where Wallace was waiting to slide in NYCFC’s second and his fourth goal for the club.
It was all going to plan for the away team when the halftime whistle sounded with the only negative from the 45’ a game-ending injury to White immediately after his brilliant assist.
RJ Allen came on in his stead and his team kept up their momentum on the other side of the break, almost making it a three-goal lead through Moralez but Bendik came up big with a clawing save to his bottom corner.
The hosts had a chance to halve the deficit through their old scourge of NYCFC in Cyle Larin but the Canadian missed a golden opportunity to net an 11th goal against the boys in blue as he struck the post with his penalty on the hour.
Ben Sweat had been penalized for fouling Scott Sutter but the metalwork came to his rescue in a rare reprieve from Orlando’s normally ruthless no.9.
Villa punished Orlando’s profligacy with a brilliant second goal to put the cap on what felt like a statement victory, rounding Bendik and slamming home after being play through by a stunning scooped through ball from Moralez.
A perfect birthday.