NEW YORK CITY — Busted in the Bronx.
New York City FC scored three first-half goals Wednesday and cruised to a 4-0 win over Real Salt Lake, its first-ever win over the Utah side in club history.
“We played an extremely good team,” said RSL coach Mike Petke, whose team will be off until next Saturday. “That’s why they are on top of the league. (NYC coach Patrick Vieira) took three years to build up this team, and he’s showing the fruits of that.
“They out-matched us tonight, for sure.”
Ismael Tajouri, Maximiliano Moralez, Jo Inge Berget and Ebenezer Ofori each scored for New York City FC, which improved to a league-best 5-0-1 in MLS play.
The hosts got off to a fast start when Tajouri scored his fourth goal of the season to put New York City ahead 1-0 in the 11th minute. It was the first time Real Salt Lake, which rode a three-match win streak against NYCFC into Wednesday, trailed the New York side in more than 280 minutes of game time.
The Manchester City affiliate was just getting started.
Moralez doubled the advantage from the penalty spot in the 30th minute, slotting home a spot kick past Nick Rimando that paced New York City’s dominant first half.
Berget dribbled through traffic to split the defense and score his first MLS goal in the 40th minute for NYCFC.
“After a 3-nil first half, it’s tough to come back,” RSL midfielder Albert Rusnak said. “We tried to find the second half and get the goal. But New York City was better today and fully deserved the win.”
Ofori added a goal in the 70th minute to cap the scoring for NYCFC.
Real Salt Lake has been outscored 14-6 in 2018, including an 8-2 deficit away from Rio Tinto Stadium.
“We have to get back to how we played toward the end of the last season,” Rusnak said. “Our soccer is not there yet. We have results at home, but it’s not in a style we want to.
“We’re looking to bounce back like we did from the Toronto loss.”
Adam Henley and David Horst, who made their 2018 debuts in defense for Real Salt Lake in a 2-1 win over Vancouver, both started in the Bronx.
Argentine teenager Pablo Ruiz made his debut off the bench for RSL. The 19-year-old newcomer replaced forward Luis Silva in the 58th minute of the match.
Wednesday’s match initiated a run of five-of-seven on the road for the Utah side. Real Salt Lake hosts regional rival Colorado at 7 p.m. MDT Saturday, April 21.
“We got outplayed by a very good team,” Petke said. “We had opportunities … I thought it was a soft PK, to be honest. But hats off to NYC.”
Real Monarchs 3, S2 1
At Tacoma, Wash., Masta Kacher scored twice and Chandler Hoffman added a goal to help Real Monarchs to a 3-1 win at Seattle Sounders 2 Wednesday night for the Salt Lake side’s best start in franchise history.
David Estrada helped the Sounders to a 1-1 halftime draw. But Kacher notched his second goal of the match in the 65th minute, and Hoffman’s career milestone helped the reigning regular-season champions to a 4-0-0 start to USL play.
Hoffman’s goal was his 49th career goal in USL play, joining the Monarchs for his second season after winning an MLS Cup title with the Los Angeles Galaxy.