New York City FC came into Foxborough, MA to do battle with the New England Revolution, having won three games on the trot to begin the 2018 season. Unfortunately, City couldn’t make it four and could only — if not luckily— grab a single point in a 2-2 draw marred by a severely underwhelming and sloppy first half.
Jo Inge Berget and Ebenezer Ofori both made their first-ever MLS starts at striker and center midfielder respectively. David Villa was left off the team sheet for the second straight week due to a lingering injury, while Alex Ring will be out for about a month after getting hurt on international duty with Finland. Right back Anton Tinnerholm was placed on the bench, also for fitness issues. Rodney Wallace was unavailable due to being out on international duty with Costa Rica.
The game would start ominously.
Diego Fagundez fired a long near-side curler, which would fly past keeper Sean Johnson and deflect favorably off the inside post, giving the Revs an early 1-0 advantage.
Johnson would be called to action multiple times soon after, having to play hero until NYCFC could forge a decent attack.
City’s first chances would came by way of a Yangel Herrera shot from the top of the box, which would be saved by New England keeper Matt Turner. On a set piece a moment later, Jo Inge Berget would try to open his goal scoring account is his debut. But the angle proved to be too acute and was harmlessly parried by Turner.
After NYCFC seemingly began forging some cohesion in the buildup, New England would almost strike again. In an almost identical fashion to Fagundez, Cristian Penilla fired a shot from outside the box towards to the far post. Fortunately for the Blues, the shot would clang off the woodwork.
NYCFC entered the halftime locker room down 1-0, though the Revs weren’t without their chances.
Six minutes into the second half, however, City would finally get their break.
Following a sublime counter-attack started by Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, the ball ended up at the feet of Jesus Medina who was occupying the right wing. Medina then threaded the ball through to the overlapping Saad Absul-Salaam, who would then slot it into the box to the unmarked Tajouri-Shradi for a tap-in goal to draw the game level at 1-1.
The deadlock wouldn’t last long, however, as just ten minutes later, the Revolution would once again pull ahead. Shortly after being subbed on, Juan Agudelo would head the ball in at the back post, giving New England a 2-1 advantage.
But NYCFC wasn’t to be denied of a key road point, as Tajouri-Shradi would once again come up big. Following a pass by Herrera, the Libyan forward set himself and rocketed the ball into the roof of the net, past a helpless Turner. This gave Tajouri-Shradi his first MLS brace.
After making only one substituion late in the game, New York City would hold off the Revs and secure the 2-2 draw on the road.
Up next: NYCFC stays on the road and heads to the west coast to take on the San Jose Earthquakes. The East-West battle will take place on March 31 at 8:00 PM.