Frank Lampard scored his fourth goal in five games, but it wasn’t enough for New York City Football Club, as they lost to Sporting Kansas City, 3-1, on Sunday night.
This broke NYC FC’s four-game winning streak, and their record fell to 8-6-6.
NYC FC entered the match following three straight clean sheets, and had a shutout streak of 279 minutes snapped when Benny Feilhaber put the hosts in front on eight minutes.
It didn’t take long for Lampard to respond, as he scored his fourth goal of the season and second this week in the 14th minute to tie it up.
Andrea Pirlo intercepted an Ike Opara pass and slipped to David Villa on his right. Villa returned the ball to Pirlo, who sent a quick pass to Ronald Matarrita. Lampard latched onto the Costa Rican international’s cross and put in a first-time shot from 10 yards.
For Lampard, this is quite a turnaround, as he is is now showing the player he can be after being sidelined for the first three months of the season due to leg injuries.
“I’m fit (laughs). I’ve been injured a long time and I’ve been able to start games,” Lampard said of the reason for his prolific scoring. “The team’s been playing well and we’ve been creating chances. A lot of chances and I’ve been fortunate enough to score some. You’re happy when you win. But even when you score, if you don’t win, as a gruesome person, I’m not very happy with that.”
Sporting Kansas City (8-8-4) regained its lead two minutes later when Jimmy Medranda put his low shot from distance in off NYC FC goalkeeper Josh Saunders. Ike Opara gave Sporting KC a 3-1 lead in the 51st minute.
This was NYC FC’s third game in a week, and it showed at times, as they didn’t have the spark that they did against the Red Bulls last Sunday and at New England last Wednesday.
“I think that’s a big challenge because we spent a lot of energy the last two games we played and of course the third one is always the most difficult one,” NYC FC head coach Patrick Vieira said of their schedule. “We came here with good intentions to play good football but we find it really difficult but tonight I think there was a lot of mental and physical tiredness. Of course, that aside, you have to give them the credit because they executed a good game plan, they stop us playing and they became more difficult for us.
“I think we were second in everything. When you are second best throughout the game, it’s hard to pretend the competitiveness of the game and that’s why I think it’s the mental and the physical tiredness from us tonight.”
There were times in the game where NYC FC were heavily outplayed, rare for this team.
“Do you really think we would travel that far to give up the game?” Vieira said to a question about their effort. “That’s not part of our culture and not part of who we are. Of course we have to take into consideration that was our third game in a week and of course that played a massive part of the way we played today. But I have to give credit to the players because they gave me everything. If you look at how they are in the dressing room, they were really, really tired and it’s not an easy place to come. It’s more difficult when it’s your third game of the week.”