New York City FC midfielder Santiago Rodriguez (20) and San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Eric Remedi (5) battle for the ball during the first half at Yankee Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
A pair of second-half substitutes helped New York City FC turn a scoreless match into a relatively comfortable home victory on Sunday afternoon.
Maxi Moralez and Gabriel Pereira came on in the 65th minute and played important roles in the MLS match at Yankee Stadium.
Moralez gave the Cityzens a much needed spark and offensive cohesiveness. Pereira scored a goal on what turned into a 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes. All three goals were scored in the second half for City (4-3-1, 13 points) as San Jose dropped to 1-5-3.
“I think it was our best performance this year,” NYCFC head coach Ronny Deila said.
The 14 goals in three games for NYCFC is the second most in MLS history.
Talles Magno, who suffered through a long afternoon of near misses, set up Keaton Parks’ second goal of the season, as he scored from 12 yards past goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski. A series of passes on the left side produced the score before Magno slipped the ball home.
Four minutes later, City was celebrating again as second-half substitute Periera connected from 16 yards to extend the lead to two goals.
Moralez set up the final goal – his first MLS goal – in the 88th as his cross-field pass found Chris Gloster on the left side and the outside back smashes it home made it 3-0.
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson recorded the clean sheet.
Much was expected of City from all of them because it had scored 11 goals the past two weekends – in a 6-0 win over Real Salt Lake and a 5-4 triumph over Toronto FC.
Playing under interim head coach Alex Covello, the Quakes dominated the first half as NYCFC tried to get its act and rhythm together.
The hosts came close to scoring twice.
In the 28th minute, Magno’s header hit the left post
NYCFC almost took the lead in the 59th minute as Magno was ruled to be offside after putting the ball into the net.