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Five Points | Fast Start 

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New York City FC suffered defeat on the road agaisnt Austin FC.

A brace from Gyasi Zardes undid Andrés Perea's early strike to give Austin a 2-1 win.

Here are Five Points from the game...

Fast Start

New York City FC started the contest at a break-neck speed and that saw them almost take the lead in the first minute after a cross was nearly deflected into Austin’s net.

City would go a goal up in the fifth minute through Andrés Perea’s well-taken finish. Nick Cushing’s side started the game with the accelerator down and that caught Austin flat-footed.

Cushing has been keen for his team to start fast with aggression and intensity. City were determined to try and take something from this road game and the way they started the game was a clear signal of their intent.

Half Time Hit

City handled most of the first half well but found themselves going in level at the break due to a late goal from Austin.

Giving up a goal so close to the break was frustrating as it eradicated so much of the hard work the team had done during the first 45 minutes. That switch in momentum was hard for City to deal with, but to their credit they started the second half the better of the two sides and didn't let it impact them too much. As Nick Cushing said after the game, it was a contest defined by moments - City's inability to execute in the final third, and Austin's ability to be clinical.

Sucker Punch

City started the second half with renewed energy and were creating the better chances between the two sides.

They had several great chances to take the lead and yet it was Austin that scored the third goal of the game through Gyasi Zardes.

The data told the story with Austin at 1.1 and City at 2.6 for xG. It wasn’t what City deserved, but it changed the context of the game in a split second.

Stretched

City may have started the game well on the field but the challenges arrived early.

An unexpected injury for Tayvon Gray after his brilliant cross was far from ideal and Kevin O’Toole joining him on the sidelines didn’t help.

That forced Cushing into two substitutions which in turn changed City’s options from the bench. The players and staff won’t seek to make excuses, but it was a challenging road trip for several reasons, not least of all because of some unexpected injuries.

In the absence of those players, several individuals stepped up, with Justin Haak earning Nick Cushing’s praise after the game for playing an unfamiliar position with quality and determination.

Shake It Off

Although disappointment was the overriding feeling from Saturday’s game it is important not to dwell on that feeling.

City played well for long periods, controlled much of the game, and were unlucky not to leave the game with at least a point. One of Nick Cushing’s desires before Saturday was to see a better team performance on the road and the group delivered that.

With three road games coming up City will have more opportunities to deliver on that road win, and if their performance level reaches the same standard as Saturday it will surely come soon.

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