NEW YORK – Ned Grabavoy struck for a brace and added an assist on David Villa’s 16th goal of the year to lead New York City FC to a 3-2 win over the San Jose Earthquakes at Yankee Stadium Saturday night.
It was the second consecutive win for NYCFC (9-14-7), which temporarily moved ahead of the playoff line pending the result of Montreal’s match against New England. Meanwhile San Jose extended its winless streak to four games and sits below the line in the Western Conference.
Grabavoy broke the scoreless stalemate in the 51st minute with his first goal of the season. Frank Lampard started the sequence by winning a 50-50 challenge with his head before Grabavoy and Villa played a one-two. Grabavoy’s shot from the left deflected in off a San Jose defender.
Grabavoy added his second in the 63rd minute, latching onto a perfect cross by Lampard and putting his downward header past San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham to double NYCFC’s lead.
It was the second two-goal game of Grabavoy’s career and first since May 19, 2013 when he helped lead Real Salt Lake to a 4-1 win over the Chicago Fire.
One minute later, Villa made it 3-0 for NYCFC, snapping his header from an Angelino cross back across the frame and inside the far post.
Quincy Amarikwa had the response for San Jose (11-12-7), pulling the visitors back a goal in the 72nd minute with his 20th goal of the season when he headed in a failed Lampard clearance of a Matias Perez Garcia corner.
Amarikwa nearly had a brace two minutes later when he rounded NYCFC goalkeeper Josh Saunders, but he put his attempt toward the open net off the post.
Amarikwa, however, drew a penalty in the 75th minute when he was pulled down in the box by Angelino. Chris Wondolowski stepped to the spot to put a low shot to the left of Saunders, who guessed the other way, to cut the Quakes' deficit to 3-2 in the 76th minute.
Each team had a quality scoring chance in a rugged first half, but Saunders came up huge to rob Sanna Nyassi in the 16th minute after parrying away a Perez Garcia cross. Andrew Jacobson put a glancing header off the far post off an Andrea Pirlo free kick five minutes from halftime.
Pirlo nearly put the finishing touches on another solid game, but he hit the far post with a corner kick in the first minute of second-half stoppage time.
NYCFC heads to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps next Saturday at 10 p.m., while San Jose returns home to take on Real Salt Lake Sept. 27 at 7 p.m.