Football Comes of Age in New York

Filed under: Sport,World Soccer |

Manchester City vs Liverpool

Football (soccer) finally came of age in New York tonight as an almost full house of 49,653 journeyed to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York.

The stadium will play home to New York City Football Club next year and we thought we’d wander along to the game to see what Orlando City Soccer Club can expect when it joins the MLS next year.

The first thing to say is that there is a reason that MLS requires a soccer specific stadium and the game tonight demonstrated why. The largely Liverpool dominated crowd attempted to get a rousing atmosphere going but generally it evaporated into the air. The pitch was quite a distance from the fans in some areas and essentially we had the sight of a soccer pitch with its goalposts in left field  and in foul territory behind what would normally be the first base line. The turf covering the majority of the infield dirt cut loose and several times players lost balance as they competed for the ball.

NYCFC’s owners are Manchester City and they were hoping to send a strong message out to MLS with a convincing win over Liverpool in the International Champions Cup, a preseason tournament pitting eight European teams into two groups.

The game essentially acted as a showcase for what fans can expect but the MLS expansion club will hope things turn out rather differently than they did tonight, as the game ended in a Liverpool win after penalty kicks.

 Manchester City vs Liverpool

The teams were tied 2-2 at the end of 90 minutes, that lead to penalty-kicks without any extra time.  Lucas Leiva (pictured above) scored the winning penalty in the fourth round of kicks, to give Liverpool a 3-1 win.

The first half was a tail of two teams testing each out and the game desperately needed a goal. Manchester City looked the stronger side after the break and it was no surprise when they netted the game’s first goal in the 53rd minute. Jesus Navas crossed from the right and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard fluffed his clearance allowing City striker Stevan Jovetic to pounce and give his team the lead.

It was one that wouldn’t last long as Liverpool leveled the score in the 59th minute with a clinical finish by Jordan Henderson that curled inside the right handpost, sending the Liverpool fans into a frenzy.

Manchester City vs Liverpool

City regained the lead in the 70th minute and it was Jovetic (pictured above) again who tapped home on the edge of the six-yard box to give Man City a 2-1 lead.

Liverpool tied the game again in the 85th minute when Raheem Sterling bent a superb shot inside the bottom right corner as a desperate Joe Hart in the City goal looked on.

The Merseysiders will now face AC Milan in Charlotte on Saturday and they have a chance to clinch top spot in their group. That would set up the possibility of a final showdown with Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United in Miami on 4th August. For City to stand any chance, they have to beat Olympiacos in Minnesota.

It was a great night for football in America and the majority of the crowd seemed to be enthralled to be able to watch a game of soccer at the home of one of the great American baseball teams. Looks like the Yankees really do love their football!



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