FRISCO, TX – In this third-ever meeting between FC Dallas and NYCFC, Patrick Vieira made one change to his lineup, bringing in Tommy McNamara for Yangel Herrera.
Both sides had canceled each other out at a sweltering Toyota Stadium for the opening 15’ – that was until Jack Harrison had the chance to add to his four MLS goals with a volley on the turn but the shot fizzed past the post.
“We had a few opportunities outside of the 18, and I knew that Miguel (Camargo) could get a good finish outside the 18 so i just wanted to get somebody who could be a bit closer to David (Villa) and link in really tight spaces with David,” Vieira said. I just waited until the free kick, and Tommy (McNamara) was really smart to anticipate and score the goal. I think when you look at the way we played in the second half, Tommy, Maxi (Moralez), and Jack (Harrison) were coming inside and we gave them a lot of problems.”
Four minutes later, FC Dallas opened the scoring with their first opportunity of the game.
Following a goalmouth scramble just outside the Blue box, Maxi Urruti touched it towards Kellyn Acosta who reacted first, firing low to the side of Sean Johnson for his third goal of the campaign.
Despite NYCFC’s domination of the possession battle, the hosts looked the more dangerous side in the attacking third throughout the first half but David Villa and Maxime Chanot did have a couple of half chances in the final seconds before the interval.
Those opportunities seemed to imbue Vieira’s men with a confidence they took into the second half as the pressing of Villa and Rodney Wallace almost brought around the equalizer as they forced goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez into a scuffed clearance which almost flew into his own net.
However, it was FC Dallas who went close to doubling their advantage on 53’ – and they would have – if not for a truly world class save from Johnson who somehow fingertipped Urruti’s stinging drive onto the underside of the crossbar.
At the other end, Harrison was inches away from equalizing with an excellent left-footed daisycutter on 62’ as NYCFC continued their improvement after the break, eventually earning their just rewards.
Without the absent Andrea Pirlo, Villa assumed set-piece responsibilities and crashed a free-kick off the crossbar but there was Tommy, who bravely went in where it hurt to head in the rebound.
Johnson was once again the hero a few minutes later, helping to earn a creditable point with another absolutely stunning save to deny Tesho Akindele who had broken clear.
Both sides pushed hard to edge what had been an exciting end-to-end game in the final minutes but it ended 1-1 which was a fair result on the balance of play.