New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – David Villa scored on either side of the intermission on Sunday as New York City FC held on to earn a 5-3 victory over expansion cousins Orlando City SC at Yankee Stadium.
The clubs met on the opening weekend of the season back in March at the Citrus Bowl and played to a 1-1 draw. But the teams looked a bit different this time around on a hot Sunday afternoon in the Bronx.
Rookie forward Cyle Larin netted a hat trick for Orlando City, but it wasn’t enough as New York City hung on late to claim all three points.
The hosts opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time when Villa controlled a long ball from Angelino with one touch, turned and ripped it into the bottom right corner, past Orlando goalkeeper Tally Hall.
But Orlando pulled level five minutes into the second half when rookie striker Cyle Larin ran onto a long ball from Servando Carrasco before cutting to the inside and beating NYC goalkeeper Josh Saunders to his near post.
NYC grabbed the lead right back in the 53rd minute through an excellently taken strike off the boot of Javier Calle for his first goal in MLS.
Former Juventus legend Andrea Pirlo made his New York City debut in the 57th minute, coming on as a substitute in the 57th minute for Mehdi Ballouchy.
Just a few minutes later Orlando pulled level again as Larin got on the end of a low cross into the box from Carlos Rivas for an easy tap-in and his eighth goal of the season.
New York seized control from there, however, as Villa picked up his second goal of the day in the 67th minute with a strike from the top of the box that took a deflection past Hall, and Thomas McNamara doubled the lead just five minutes later.
Larin completed his treble with five minutes to play with an excellent strike from distance, but the Lions could not find another late equalizer as NYCFC salted it away in stoppage time through a goal from Mix Diskerud.