NYCFC Goals: Mitriță 39', Ring 62'
LAFC Goals: Vela 43', 76'
New York City FC had to be satisfied with a point once again following a back-and-forth 2-2 draw with LAFC.
City took the lead twice courtesy of goals from Alexandru Mitriță and Alex Ring in each half but the Boys in Blue were twice pegged back by goals from Carlos Vela.
That means Dome Torrent's side have tied each of their opening three MLS matches.
NYCFC welcomed LAFC to the Bronx for the first time aiming for that first W of the season following draws vs. Orlando and D.C.
It marked the second meeting between the sides, following the 2-2 tie at the Banc of California Stadium in 2018.
Dome Torrent made two changes to his line-up, bringing in Ronald Matarrita and Ebenezer Ofori in place of Ben Sweat and Jesus Medina.
NYCFC came out ready to play but their intensity was met with similar energy from LAFC, making for a tight, cagey but competitive opening 30’ with few clear chances to score.
Sean Johnson, coming off a huge game against D.C. United showed up again on St Patrick’s Day, as Carlos Vela took a shot in the 29” minute that was knocked up over the crossbar by the U.S. international. The critical save kept the game scoreless, giving NYCFC a chance to retaliate.
When the opening goal came, it was one of the highest quality from a new Bronx hero in the 38th minute…
Mitriță broke through the LAFC defense down the left side and strode clear, cutting back onto his strong foot and firing an unstoppable strike into the roof of the net.
It was the Romanian’s first goal for his new Club and he almost had another two minutes later when his free-kick came back off the top of the crossbar with Tyler Miller beaten.
Sadly, City’s lead would last only until the 42nd minute when Carlos Vela hit back on the counter to make it 1-1 on the stroke of half-time.
The fight didn’t stop there, the intensity continued into the second half.
Ben Sweat was introduced as a second half substitute and he made an almost-immediate impact, creating the second NYCFC goal of the match for his captain.
Sweat never gave up chasing the ball down to the goalline, winning it back and pulling it across goal for The Ringleader to do the rest, as he fired into the top corner for his fourth goal for the Club.
The race to the finish was on, both teams went back and forth - LAFC desperate to find the equalizer and NYCFC to seal their first win of the season.
Maxi Moralez set up an opportunity to score with a cross to Ring who headed for goal but Miller was there to make a good save.
With City in the ascendancy looking for a third, there was a sting in the tail as Sweat felled Blessing to give Vela the opportunity to score his second from the spot in the 75th minute.
The Mexican DP did the rest, sending Johnson the wrong way to tie up the game at 2-2.
That was how it stayed, meaning City had to be content with a third draw from the opening three games of the season.
As MLS heads into the international break, eight NYCFC players will be heading to their home countries to serve in their own respective national team duties. Once they return to New York, the team will be preparing to take on Toronto FC on March 29.
NYCFC.com Man of the Match
Mitriță scored his first goal of the season and was a constant menace for the Boys in Blue.
The Romanian international also hit the crossbar with an almost inch-perfect free-kick, just two minutes after his opening goal.
How We Lined Up
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Tinnerholm, Chanot, Callens, Matarrita, Sands, Ring, Ofori (Sweat 49'), Castellanos (Lewis 79'), Mitriță, Moralez
NYCFC heads into the international break before taking on Toronto FC at BMO Field on March 29.