It was an ugly match that held a lot of tension through out, yet New York City Football Club found a way to scrounge a point from the Chicago Fire. New Yorks expectations for the match quickly turned into shock as the teams seemed to be evenly matched in the first ten minutes. New York City soon shot themselves in the foot as the preventable mental errors that coach Jason Kreis had alluded to being the teams Achilles heel, quickly began to pile up.
Such an example came in the first 15 minutes of the match, a time period Coach Kreis had stated needed to be well played if the team were to be successful going forward. Unfortunately New York seemed to hesitate off a hurried free kick that Chicago developed into their first goal. The goal came off a phenomenal header by Razvan Cocis who managed to lob it on net using the back of his head.
NYC Keeper Josh Sounders seemed to be caught off guard by the shot (though he would rebound), as he seemed to leave his line a bit early to see the ball gently glide over him into the net.
It would get much worse for City before it got better as about 13 minutes later New York was reduced to ten men after RJ Allen drew a Red Card by committing a foul in the penalty area before Josh Saunders could smother the ball from an oncoming rush. Though Saunders came close to saving it Chicago’s Jeff Larentowicz was able to put home the PK as New York were down two goals within the first 28 minutes of the match.
What happened through the rest of the match for New York could be only be described as hard work, and determination to climb out of the hole they had put themselves in. The angst, and frustration was clearly there and some how City managed to channel that and boost their game. When New York managed to control the ball they were quick to make passes, and apply pressure.
When they were without the ball they were frantic and overwhelming in their effort to win the ball back. The effort they managed to put forth was what this team had been lacking in each of their previous four matches. New York was able to score both of goals within stoppage time of each half. The first came with a bit of creativity as Chicago themselves seemed to hesitate as the half was drawing to a close.
New York City pounced on the opportunity. Captain David Villa was able to find space in the middle of the field, and after putting a shot on net Chicago Fire Goalkeeper Sean Johnson coughed up a rebound which midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy managed to send home for a goal. After some tense moments where David Villa drew a yellow card for Dissent arguing Ballouchy had been fouled as the first half came to a close.
The second half began much as the first half had as both teams had their chances. NYC Rookie Khiry Shelton came in for forward Patrick Mullins in the 60th minute in an effort to put pressure on the Chicago Defenders. Coach Kreis made the right call as New York had its chances down the stretch.
After 5 minutes of stoppage time was added to the end of the second half New York was seemingly in trouble as Chicago was able to apply serious pressure as Joevin Jones found Quincy Amarikwa who sought a late goal off the back heel however Saunders was in perfect position to save it. New York retaliated with an immediate counter once again taking advantage of the opportunities allotted to them.
Mix Diskerud found David Villa just outside of the penalty area and was immediately surrounded by Chicago defenders. Yet despite the pressure Villa was able to slip a pass right to the striking boot of Khiry Shelton who’s first touch setup a strike that sent Yankee Stadium into pure bedlam as he tallied his first goal of his career.
The draw was ugly, it was brash, and it was sincere as New York City managed to turn the tide once again in stoppage time. The Draw felt like more than such in the way that the point was earned. New York will look to improve the good, and learn from the bad in this match and build on the confidence generated by the effort. New York City FC next match will be against Real Salt Lake on Saturday May 23rd in Utah. Kickoff will be at 10pm.