New York City FC arrived in San Jose looking to preserve their excellent unbeaten start to the year.
Following three wins and a draw, confidence was high but City’s preparations were dealt a pre-match blow when David Villa reported discomfort after the warm-ups and withdrew from the XI, paving the way for Jo Inge Berget to make his second consecutive start.
The hosts quickly capitalized on the late disruption, opening the scoring with the first opportunity of the game: Yefferson Quintana’s stooped near-post header which left Sean Johnson with no chance.
A week earlier, NYCFC had twice recovered from losing positions at New England and they set about doing it again, gaining a foothold in the match with measured build-up play.
Although the ground underfoot wasn’t always conducive to free-flowing football, the away side grew in confidence and began asking questions of the Earthquakes backline with dangerous balls in from wide areas.
The Boys in Blue finally caught a clear sight of Andrew Tarbell’s goal when Herrera won a free-kick in presentable range on 26′.
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi stepped up and ended his streak of his every shot for NYCFC resulting in a goal, although his wicked, dipping effort showed excellent technique and only just fizzed over the bar.
The momentum had definitively shifted and City carved out their best chance of the half two minutes before the interval following delightful interplay between Maxi Moralez and Jesus Medina which gave Berget the chance to open his account.
Unfortunately for the away side, the Norwegian’s shot was blocked but Head Coach Patrick Vieira will have been encouraged by the sight of the Earthquakes defense being prised open for the first time.
After the break, Vieira switched Berget and Medina to bring the Paraguayan into a more central role but it was Tinnerholm who marked his return with the equalizer on 49′
A near-replica of his Home Opener strike vs. LA Galaxy, the Swede raced onto a loose ball and thundered a volley in off the crossbar in similarly explosive style.
10 minutes later, they’d turned it around.
This time, Tajouri-Shradi was the architect with some delightful footwork to find the space to play in Maxi Moralez for his third goal of the season, a deflected strike over the goalkeeper.
Sean Johnson came to his side’s rescue on a number of occasions in the final 20 minutes with some big saves but City deserved their three points for another committed, resolute display on the road.
We march on undefeated.