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NYCFC stays hot with home victory over DC United

Sportsnaut
May 18, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York City FC midfielder Valent n Castellanos (11) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal on a penalty kick against D.C. United in the first half at Audi Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Valentin Castellanos kept up his brisk goal-scoring pace as New York City FC extended its unbeaten string to six games in MLS play by beating host DC United 2-0 on Wednesday night in Washington.

Alexander Callens scored the first goal before Castellanos converted on a penalty kick as NYCFC did all the scoring in the first half. Castellanos has seven goals this season, all coming in a five-game span.

Goalkeeper Sean Johnson made one save for NYCFC (6-3-2, 20 points), which has recorded back-to-back 2-0 results. He has four consecutive shutouts.

Johnson’s save came in the 76th minute. DC United’s Steven Birnbaum charged through the box for a header off Julian Gressel’s corner kick. Johnson reacted just in time by punching the ball out of harm’s way.

DC United goalkeeper Rafael Romo made four saves.

DC United (4-6-1, 13 points) suffered its fourth shutout in MLS play this season.

Callens opened the scoring in the sixth minute with his header off Christopher Gloster’s delivery following a corner kick. Romo got a hand on the ball, but the shot went into the net anyway as Callens notched his second goal of the season.

That set piece came off the game’s first corner kick, though it capped a flurry of activity in the opening minutes. In the second minute, DC United’s Brad Smith had a shot go off the right post.

Castellanos produced the second goal in the first half’s extra time on a penalty kick. That resulted from a hand-ball on DC United’s Brendan Hines-Ike.

Castellanos’ penalty kick came with a hesitation move, with Romo guessing wrong and having no chance at making a stop.

Gloster was injured midway through the second half and replaced by substitute Malte Amundsen.

NYCFC was credited with 12 of the game’s 20 shots.

–Field Level Media