Frank Lampard scored the only goal as New York City FC beat the New England Revolution 1-0 to record their fourth consecutive victory and take a four-point lead at the top of Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference on Wednesday.
Lampard struck in the 58th minute, fortuitously diverting a firm cross from Tommy McNamara into the net at Gillette Stadium as City’s resurgent run of form continued following their derby win over the New York Red Bulls last weekend.
After a slow start to the season, the big-spending club, which is owned by the same group that controls English giants Manchester City, are now leading the conference standings with 30 points from 19 games.
Philadelphia Union are four points adrift in second having played a game fewer.
However City were made to work hard for all three points on Wednesday, with New England creating a series of promising chances only to be let down by poor finishing.
New England’s miserable night was completed late in second-half stoppage time when goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was sent off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity with a cynical trip on Khiry Shelton outside the box.
Meanwhile, elsewhere Wednesday in MLS, Orlando City manager Adrian Heath paid the price for his side’s sluggish start to the season which included a 4-0 thrashing by FC Dallas on Monday.
Heath, who has been with the club since 2011 and oversaw their entry to the MLS in 2015, had been under pressure after a start to the campaign which has seen the Florida club win only four of their first 16 games to leave them just outside the playoff places.
“It is always a very difficult decision to part ways with a head coach and not one that the board of directors has taken lightly. It is even more difficult when that coach has been instrumental in the growth of the club since its inception over eight years ago,” said Orlando City president Phil Rawlins in a statement.
“We feel that the time has come for us to move on with our future in MLS.”