Luan’s Two First-Half Goals Lead Corinthians to Florida Cup Win
Luan made a stunning debut for Corinthians with two first-half strikes, earning Man of the Match in the opening game of the 2020 Florida Cup. His first goal came in the 11th minute from a free kick from inside the penalty arc. The 2017 South American Player of the Year curled the ball over the wall and into the goal. His second goal, almost identical from ten yards farther, came during the run of play when he pulled the back, took a quick touch away from a NYFC defender, and curled the ball into the side of the net.
The two sides met for the first time as Tiago Nunes and Ronny Deila made their coaching debuts. Corinthians started with an experienced lineup that included Cássio and Fagner, two of the club’s longest-serving players. Luan and Cantillo stepped onto the field for the first time in a Corinthians jersey. Deila opted to leave out many of New York’s senior players due to the club’s recent start to preseason training. Led by veteran Sebastien Ibeagha, NYFC started a young lineup that included Homegrown players Justin Haak, James Sands, and Joe Scally as well as their newest signing Gedion Zalalem.
In the first minute, New York City nearly scored after a giveaway from Corinthians led to Anders Jasson’s shot sailing over the bar. Despite the preseason pace, Luan and Cantillo were very active in the midfield for Corinthians, and Janderson looked dangerous as he pressed from the outside. Zalalem and Haak were the most active players for New York, but after Luan’s first goal, the Brazilian squad took control of the game and the pace slowed as both teams appeared to be still feeling out their early season. New York made 9 changes in the 34th minute as Deila held true to his preseason goal of training versus competetion.
The second half began with a complete line-up change for Corinthians while most of NYCFC’s reserves from the first half continued for the duration of the game. Corinthians controlled much of the second half play. Mateus Vital had a few chances and was dynamic from the outside. New York pulled a goal back in the 75th minute after a breakdown in the Corinthians defense. Several players anticipated a foul on Marllon that wasn’t called, and Niko Kapanadze was left free in front of the goal. His touch from Colman Kim’s cross deflected off Bruno Mendez and into the goal. Madson nearly extended Corinthians’ lead with a few chances late in the game, but the Brazilian champions were able to preserve the win.
Deila spoke after the game about the cohesive play of his young team. “What I was most pleased about was the discipline. We kept together, compact, the whole game.” Deila said the more experienced senior players will play against Palmeiras on Saturday, yet he still sees the structure of the team’s play the same but with higher quality. He viewed the game as a positive indicator for his young players’ ability to stick with the plan he wanted his team to play.
“If you’re going to play yourself into the first team here, the coach has to trust you. Trust is 90% doing what you are told.”
Tiago Nunes was satisfied with his team’s play against the younger New York side. “We focused a lot on behavior activities,” he said, “actions aimed at pressure to the ball carrier, quick recovery of the ball, trying to pen and close the field to create pass lines, this was our first step.” The Corinthians coach was pleased with the debuts of his newer players but said there is more work to do in the attacking third.
Corinthians- Luan- 11’ and 30’
NYCFC- Mendez (OG)- 75’
Ramiro- Corinthians- 45th minute
Kim-NYCFC- 58th minute
Taylor-NYCFC- 78th minute
Richard- Corinthians 83nd minute
12- Cássio (Captain), 23- Fagner, 4- Gil, 34- Pedro Henrique, 6- Lucas Piton, 20- Camacho, 8- Cantillo, 31- Janderson, 7- Luan, 28- Ramiro, 17- Mauro Boselli
27- Walter, 32-Matheus Donelli, 40- Felipe, 5- Gabriel, 9- Love, 13- Marllon, 14- Bruno Mendes, 16- Sidcley, 19- Gustavo, 22- Mateus Vital, 25- Richard, 29- Madson, 33- Davó, 35- Avellar
New York City FC
13- Barraza, 25-Scally, 33-Ibeagha (Captain), 16-Sands, 15-Rocha, 80- Haak, 14-Torres, 62-Fatah, 23-Zelalem, 61-Jasson, 74-De RosarioSubs: 52- Mizell, 73-Taylor, 24- Gray, 70- Amponsah, 72- Dumas, 69- Suchecki, 67- Kim, 63- Kapanadze, 65- Fortune, 66- Perez, 64- Lansade, 71- Acito, 68- Flax