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New York City FC 4, Chicago Fire 1 | 2016 MLS Match Recap

New York City FC inched closer to clinching their first ever MLS Cup Playoffs berth on Friday with a 4-1 win over the Chicago Fire at Yankee Stadium.

It was a team effort, but David Villa and Khiry Shelton led the way for City, with two goals and an assist for the Spaniard and three assists on the night for the American.

City staked a 2-0 lead within the first 10 minutes. First, center back Jefferson Mena opened his MLS account with a striker's finish, as he received a good centering header off a long diagonal from Shelton and redirected the cross past Sean Johnson in the 8th minute. Exactly 60 seconds later, Villa notched a goal of his own, taking a pass from Shelton and slotting a shot in the net.

Chicago showed signs of life in the 35th minute, as Arturo Alvarez's cross was headed in by Luis Solignac to cut the Fire's deficit to one.

But NYCFC extended their lead again in the 44th minute, as Villa initiated a counterattack following a Fire corner kick, and Steven Mendoza took a pass, made a turn near the top of the box and blasted a curling shot past Johnson to make it 3-1.

Villa notched his second goal of the night in the 83rd minute, taking a pass once again from Shelton and burying an attempt from distance inside the far post to fully wrap up the three points.

Box Score

Three Things

  1. YOUTH AND AGE COMBINE FOR CITY: Villa's exploits will likely steal the headlines, and that's understandable -- in addition to contributing to the win he amplified his prospects in the MLS Golden Boot and MLS MVP races. But the production of Shelton and Mendoza also showed the progress of a couple young guns who have been under the radar for NYCFC this year. In particular, Shelton continued his good form from last week's game, and his work setting up his teammates again and again was a sight to behold.
  2. MORE MISERY FOR CHICAGO: NYCFC gave them plenty of chances, but Chicago just couldn't keep up in converting them on the evening. They remain in last place in the league, with just one road win this year. Solignac's goal was a highlight for them, but in general it was a game to forget for the Fire faithful.
  3. WHAT NYCFC NEED FOR PLAYOFF BERTH: With the win, NYCFC can clinch an MLS Cup Playoffs spot this weekend, if New England fail to beat Columbus, or if D.C. United and Orlando City draw, or if the New York Red Bulls beat Montreal. No guarantees, but seems a good bet NYCFC is in sooner than later.

Next Up

  • NYC: Friday, September 30 at Houston (8 pm ET; UniMás | MLS LIVE in Canada)
  • CHI: Wednesday, September 28 at Seattle (10:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE)
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