New York City FC edges Puerto Rico in friendly

Action from the friendly between New York City FC (blue jersey) and host Puerto Rico on December 11, 2015, in Bayamon. (Photo:

BAYAMON, Puerto Rico -- Kwadwo Poku scored a minute into second-half stoppage time to lift New York City FC to a 2-1 win over Puerto Rico in a friendly Friday night.

The midfielder snapped a 1-1 deadlock that was defined by an own-goals by each side in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 7,580 at the Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel. Poku muscled past a defender on the right side of the penalty area and beat goalkeeper Matthew Sanchez.

"It was a tough game," said Poku, who made his Ghana international debut in a 1-1 draw with Canada on October 10, 2015. "When it was 1-1, everybody was like, 'we've got to make something happen.' We pulled it off. They gave us a tough time.”

Puerto Rico defender Cristian Arrieta deflected an RJ Allen cross into his own net in the seventh minute to give the Major League Soccer team a 1-0 lead.

The host equalized in the 66th minute, when veteran defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado placed the ball behind Josh Saunders -- his own goalkeeper -- after Puerto Rico took a quick free kick.

Both goalkeepers distinguished themselves.

Sanchez thwarted Khiry Shelton twice early, before former England international Frank Lampard and Spain striker David Villa put their attempts off the crossbar in the 21st and 23rd minutes, respectively.

Later in the opening half, Saunders saved efforts from Juan Coca (34’) and Juan Rivera (41’).

The Puerto Ricans thought they had tallied in the 74th minute, but Hector Ramos' goal was disallowed due to an offside call. Eleven minutes later, another offside call denied a Puerto Rico goal.