|Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scoring one of his goals. USA Today Sports.|
New York City Football Club came from behind late to earn a 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution on the road in Foxborough on Saturday afternoon.
NYCFC got both of their goals from their budding star Ismael Tajouri-Shradi to remain unbeaten on the season (3 wins, 1 draw, 10 points).
As remarkable as the emergence of Tajouri-Shradi is that they earned this point without the injured Ronald Matarrita, Alex Ring and David Villa, as well as Rodney Wallace, who was away on international duty.
New England got on the board first, as Diego Fagundez fired one from 20 yards out to and find the back of the net via the inside of the post in the 11th minute to give them a 1-0 edge.
NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson kept New England from doubling their lead just a couple of minutes later when they had another golden chance before City had a couple of sights of goal themselves.
The first one came when Yangel Herrera swiveled and struck from distance, forcing New England goalkeeper Matt Turner into an unbelievable fingertip save when the shot had looked in all the way.
From the resulting set-piece, the ball eventually broke to Jo Inge Berget, who almost marked his NYCFC debut with a goal but the angle was against him, and Turner made another scrambling stop.
The game remained 1-0 New England until early in the second half.
In the 51st minute, on a counter-attack by NYCFC, Jesus Medina found Saad Abdul-Salaam on the overlap and the right-back’s ball in was perfect, allowing Tajouri-Shradi to step onto it and bury it to tie the game at 1 and give him his second goal in as many starts for his new team.
It didn't take long for New England to regain the lead, as substitute Juan Agudelo headed one in at the back post to make it 2-1 in the 61st minute.
NYCFC was not done, and it would be Tajouri-Shradi who delivered the tying goal into the roof of the net off a feed from Yangel Herrera in the 75th minute.
NYCFC's Ebenezer Ofori was named in the starting XI for the first time since he joined the team in the offseason
New York City FC Head Coach Patrick Vieira
On the squad's performance today:
Coach Vieira: “It was a tough game for us. Today, we showed a lot of character. Sometimes you show a different aspect of the game and today we managed to get back twice from behind. We showed a lot of determination, a lot character, and this is something positive I picked up from the game.”
On New England’s high press:
Coach Vieira: “I think this is a part of my responsibility as well. I think at times, especially the first 25 minutes, they were pressing us really high and with a pace that they have up front that was closing us down and making it really difficult and we tried to force it. The players, they were doing what I was asking them to do. There was a better option because I think we could've gone a little bit more direct, especially in the first 20 minutes. I think we were putting ourselves, especially the first 20 minutes, we put ourselves in a difficult situation.”
On adjusting to Juan Agudelo entering the match:
Coach Vieira: “I think when you look at the goal that he scored, I think the cross, the header, everything was perfect. We went through a difficult period during the game. I think some of the period we should have managed better, but overall I was happy with the way we were playing and we were defending. You get a time where there’s not a need to change a player.”
On the attacking group's performance in the first half:
Coach Vieira: “I think we didn’t take risk enough to play forward. I think we played in the first half, especially in the first 20 minutes, I think we played a little bit too safe. We spend too much time in our own half and that was a problem in the first half. I think we didn’t find the space to find Yangel [Herrera] or Maxi [Moralez], where at times they were by themselves. We didn’t manage to break their first line and this is why we struggled to play. We were putting ourselves into danger. And this is something we need to adjust, because when we are going to face teams who close down like that, we have to have a certain plan to maybe go a little bit more direct. But, listen, we are going to learn from that. We are going work and try to improve. Taking one point, knowing the last two years this was a really difficult place to come for, I am really pleased going back to New York with the point."
New York City FC Forward Ismael Tajouri-Shradi
On getting a draw in New England:
Tajouri-Shradi: “We know that in New England, it will be a very hard game. All week we knew that. It was a very hard game, but important for us to take a point home.”
On his quick adjustment to Major League Soccer:
Tajourii-Shradi: “For me, it has been good. I am very happy to net three goals, but I have to keep going. I am very happy with the team here and it was important for us to get this point. Of course, I am very happy to score the two goals. I thought the team played very well.”
On what has been key to his individual success:
Tajour-Shradi: “I was excited when I came over to New York. It was interesting and very exciting. We have a great head coach [Patrick Vieira]. When I came here I said I wanted to make the next stage, because I believe with Patrick I can do it.”
On coming from behind twice:
Tajouri-Shradi: “You can see we have a big mentality. It is not easy to come back and win in New England. We knew that before, but we were able to come back twice. It is very big-time for us to do that. It shows how good we are, and now can focus on the next game.”