- Associated Press - Saturday, June 25, 2016

SEATTLE (AP) - Even Frank Lampard admitted he might have caught a break.

But the New York City FC player wasn’t going to give it back.

Lampard scored a disputed goal late in the first half, Ronald Matarrita added an insurance tally in the 87th minute and NYC beat the Seattle Sounders 2-0 on Saturday.

In the 38th minute, a corner kick by New York’s Andrea Pirlo was cleared away from the net, but not out of the penalty area. NYC defender R.J. Allen lofted it back toward the 6-yard box. Lampard, standing a yard inside of it and, with Seattle’s Tyrone Mears tight on him, chested it hard to the ground. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei swiped at it with his left hand, but could not keep it out of the net.

Frei and Mears immediately gestured that the ball went off of Lampard’s arm. Referee Alan Kelly initially signaled it was a goal, then had an extended conversation with linesman Mike Rottersman. Finally, Kelly pointed toward midfield, making it official that the call would stand.

“It hit me on the chest. I think it might have deflected off of my a bit as well, bit it was mainly chested,” Lampard said. “It was a goal. Sometimes, they go against you. But for me, it was a goal.”

Lampard, working his way back into form after missing much of the season with an injury, now has two goals - one in each of the last two games.

“To get back on the team when you’re injured, it’s difficult,” he said. “When you play, you want to contribute. My first two starts of the season, I scored two. I hope and I think I’ll get better. My match fitness will be better.”

Added head coach Patrick Viera, “He’s still not at his best because has been out for quite a while. But when you look at the number of goals he has scored during his career (including 147 in 14 seasons with Chelsea of the English Premier League), I’m not surprised that he scored again. And the way we play, he will score even more goals.”

New York City (6-5-6) won its second straight after a four-game winless streak.

“When we went through a difficult time, we kept believing, and we are getting better,” Vierra said. “We’re still far away from what we want to achieve, based on part of the game we need to improve. But we’re getting better as a team, and performing, and showing how good they are.”

The Sounders (5-9-1) dropped their second in a row and fifth in the last six games. They have been shut out in four of those.

Seattle’s best chances on Saturday came during the second half. In the 50th minute, rookie Jordan Morris streaked down the left wing side on a counterattack, took the ball into the box one on one against New York City goalkeeper Josh Saunders, but went just wide left.

In the 67th minute, Nelson Valdez ran onto a free kick that landed that landed on his foot directly in front of the right post, but sent his try inches wide.

“A lot of times, you get down when you’re not getting a goal,” said coach Sigi Schmid, whose team’s 13 goals is the lowest total in the league. “I think other teams know we’re struggling in getting a goal, so they’re playing tight in the back and hoping they can get one, thinking it’s going to be difficult for us.

“The only way you can change that is get a result, or somebody just needs to stand up and something just needs to go your way at some point. What that magic moment or magic word is, I wish I knew.”

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