NYCFC Goals: Medina 45+1', Castellanos 46'
Vancouver Goals: Mezquida 22', Hurtado 87'
An 87th minute equalizer from the Vancouver Whitecaps prevented New York City FC from extending the home win streak.
Valentin Castellanos's debut goal on 47' had looked like being enough for all three points but Hurtado's late sting in the tail meant that the spoils were shared.
City remains four points behind Atlanta United with a game in hand on the Eastern Conference leaders.
Following hot on the heels of Atlanta’s 2-2 tie with Toronto FC, NYCFC went into this showdown with Vancouver with plenty of motivation.
There was a surprise on Domènec Torrent’s teamsheet, with Argentine forward Valentin Castellanos earning his debut, just a week on from his loan switch from CA Torque.
With Sean Johnson nursing a shoulder injury, Brad Stuver also came in for his first MLS start for NYCFC vs. a Vancouver team looking to make it three successive wins.
City were out to preserve their record 13-game unbeaten home streak themselves and they made a strong start, threatening from the opening exchanges.
Jo Inge Berget, on his return to the XI, went closest first, drawing a world class save from Marinovic on 6' after the Norwegian had met Maxi Moralez’s serve into the box with his head.
The resulting corner rebounded out to City’s All-Star Alex Ring, who let rip with a strike that recalled his golazo vs. Atlanta, only this time the shot whistled over the crossbar.
June and July’s Etihad Player of the Month Anton TInnerholm was next to go close with a trademark back post volley on 20’ but two minutes later it was the road team who took the lead against the run of play.
Catching NYC up the field, Nicolas Mezquida went it alone, driving at the back four and unleashing an unstoppable drilled shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
The excellent Isi Tajouri-Shradi went close with an effort from just inside the area on 36’ but City would have to wait until stoppage-time at the end of the half to finally beat the increasingly put-upon Vancouver ‘keeper.
When the goal came, it was no surprise that Tinnerholm was involved, as the in-form Swede cut in from the byline and picked out Medina, who had the presence of mind to take an extra touch to draw the challenge from a defender, before stepping around and firing under Marionovic.
Buoyed by this equalizer, Torrent’s men wasted no time in seizing the initiative after the break, taking the lead after a powerful run and cross found Castellanos who forced it over the line on the slide.
A dream start to life in the Big Apple for the Argentine.
After recovering the deficit, City rarely looked in any danger of succumbing to the Whitecaps, enjoying near-total domination of the second half, creating more good chances, though Medina, Moralez and Ring, who all went close to adding the clinching goal.
It didn't arrive and the home side was made to pay on 87' when Hurtado scored a goal out of nothing on a rare Whitecaps counter which climaxed with a simple tap-in at the back post.
A frustrating way to end a night which had looked so promising but City at least lost no ground at the top.
NYCFC.com Star of the Game
The Paraguayan is in red hot form of late, seemingly growing with each game this summer.
Not only did Jesus scored the equalizer with his fourth goal in his last five games, he was a livewire throughout, his impish movement between the lines creating chaos in the Vancouver backline.
Social Post of the Match…
Stats and Milestones
- Valentin Castellanos scored on his NYCFC debut
- Brad Stuver started his first MLS game since joining from Columbus Crew SC
- Jesus Medina scored his sixth goal for NYCFC
- It was also the Paraguayan's fourth in his last five games
How they lined up…
NYCFC XI: Stuver, Tinnerholm, Callens, Chanot, Matarrita, Ring, Moralez (C), Medina, Tajouri-Shradi, Castellanos, Berget
Subs: Caldwell, Sweat, Awuah, Ibeagha, McNamara, Lewis, Wallace
The Boys in Blue are back at it next Sunday night when we travel to BMO Field to take on Toronto. Our next home game is the final Hudson River Derby of the season on 8/22. Get your tickets at NYCFC.com/Tickets.