NYCFC Goals: Castellanos 16', Tajouri-Shradi 18', 64'
Minnesota United FC Goals: Alonso 13', Rodrígues 20', Johnson (OG) 32'
New York City FC chopped up an entertaining 3-3 draw with Minnesota United in the first MLS game to be staged at the new Allianz Field.
Taty Castellanos hit a first half equalizer, while a goal in each half from Ismael Tajouri-Shradi gave NYCFC a fifth draw of the campaign.
Although the hunt for a first win of 2019 goes on, Dome Torrent will have been satisfied with a much-improved performance from the Boys in Blue, who created a number of chances to win the game in a strong second half display.
New York City FC hit the road to take on Minnesota United FC as their hunt for the season’s first win went on to game no.6.
While the Loons were celebrating the opening day of their new stadium, Allianz Field, NYCFC remained focused on the task in hand… bringing home a positive result to New York.
NYCFC’s starting XI saw four changes. While Alex Callens was still out with an injury, Maxi Moralez made his comeback after two weeks of being out with lower leg tightness. In Callens’ place, Tony Rocha made his first start of Season 5 in a back three with Maxime Chanot and James Sands, while two additional names that found their way into the starting XI were Ebenezer Ofori and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi.
NYCFC’s first attempt came on 8’ when Anton Tinnerholm created City’s first chance with a run in from the right flank and a shot that went through the legs of a Minnesota defender, but unfortunately, Vito Mannone was there to stop the effort on the line.
At the other end, Minnesota United took advantage through Osvaldo Alonso, who struck the first goal of a crazy game in the 13th minute, putting the Loons up 1-0 from close range.
Three minutes later, NYCFC responded with a goal from Valentin Castellanos on an assist from Tajouri-Shradi. It was a great ball from Isi, who lofted it over the last defender for Taty to take a touch and fire into the far corner past Mannone.
The duo struck again on 18’ but this time the combination was reversed as Castellanos flicked the ball back to Tajouri-Shradi who banked it in the back of the net at the second time of asking to make it 2-1 to the road team.
A crazy first half continued when The Loons came back in the 20th minute with a break away goal by Angelo Rodrigues, putting the teams neck-to-neck at 2-2.
An unfortunate moment put the home side back in front on 32’ when Sean Johnson took a heavy touch off Ebenezer Ofori’s back pass and put the ball into his own net, making it 3-2 at the interval.
Going into this game we prepared for a winter storm, but fans were instead met with a storm of goals with Allianz Field seeing five in its first 45 minutes as a soccer venue.
With the second half to come, Alexandru Mitriță came in off the subs bench for Rocha to add power to the NYCFC frontline.
It made an immediate impact. NYCFC flew out of the blocks in the second period and looked dangerous right from the first whistle through to full-time.
Castellanos tore through the Minnesota United defense and rounded Mannone to find the back of an empty net on 59’, but after VAR the goal was disallowed for a handball.
The hunt for the equalizer continued and when it came it was no less than City deserved. This time, Tajouri-Shradi did it all on his own, bending his free-kick in from an acute angle on 64’ to make it 3-3.
Although Johnson made a big save with 10’ to go, it was NYCFC who edged the match and probably deserved the three points on the balance of play – however, Dome Torrent’s men had to be satisfied with a fifth draw of the young campaign.
Onto the next one!
NYCFC.com Man of the Match
Castellanos found the back of the net once and assisted Ismael Tajouri-Shradi on his first goal of the season, before coming out with a blow to the head on an attempt to keep the Loons from scoring.
Well played, Taty!
How We Lined Up
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Chanot, Sands, Rocha, Tinnerholm, Ring (C), Ofori, Matarrita, Tajouri-Shradi, Moralez, Castellanos
Subs: Stuver, Ibeagha, Sweat, Parks, Medina, Mitriță, Héber
NYCFC heads to Audi Field on April 21 to face D.C. United for the second time this season, before heading back to the Bronx on April 24 to take on Chicago Fire and kick off Borough Nights #ForTheCity! Buy your tickets now...