New York City FC recorded a spirited draw at Citi Field on Wednesday night against Charlotte FC. The visitors took the lead in the 17th minute via McKinze Gaines. The Boys in Blue recovered in the second half and after a string of chances they managed to find an equalizer in the 81st minute thanks to a Braian Cufré strike. Despite searching for a second they could not find one and were forced to share the points with Charlotte.
NYCFC 1 Charlotte FC 1
NYCFC spent Wednesday in the World’s Borough as they welcomed Charlotte FC to Queens.
Head Coach Nick Cushing made one change to the team that overcame CF Montréal at the weekend, with Richy Ledezma replacing the suspended Santiago Rodríguez.
Both sides sought to establish an early rhythm in possession, but the first chance of the game fell to Enzo Copetti after a well-timed run behind the defensive line – his effort clipping the post.
In response, Ledezma tried to play Talles Magno in on goal, but his pass forced him wide and the forward could not beat the goalkeeper.
NYCFC continued to pile on the pressure, with Keaton Parks able to launch an effort from range that was deflected behind by a Charlotte player.
From the resulting corner, Talles Magno engineered some space inside the box and powered a header toward goal that was well saved.
Charlotte took the lead against the run of play in the 17th minute after McKinze Gaines pounced on a loose ball and curled an effort into the top corner.
The 33rd minute saw NYCFC engineer a quick counter-attack after a Charlotte turnover in their own half – Braian Cufré firing his effort wide from a narrow angle.
That was followed up by a brilliant cross from Matías Pellegrini that just skipped by Maxime Chanot at the back post.
As the half drew to a close a long ball found Talles Magno in space and after bringing the ball down brilliantly he fired a shot off that tested the goalkeeper.
NYCFC started the second half with intent and while they controlled the game from the off they were unable to convert that into clear-cut chances.
Talles Magno was proving to be a threat in behind with his runs, but the Brazilian struggled to get purchase on his efforts in front of goal.
The 62nd minute saw Cushing turn to his bench for the first time as he introduced Gabriel Pereira in place of his compatriot Talles Magno.
Pereria almost made an instant impact after a quick transition saw Parks find the substitute in space. After dazzling his defender he shot with his right foot but was denied by the post.
Charlotte seemed unsure how to deal with his threat and that allowed Pereira several looks at goal. In one instance, he intercepted a poor pass before driving inside – his effort curling wide of the goal.
Cushing introduced further fresh faces in the 72nd minute – Gabe Segal and Stephen Turnbull for Mitja Ilenič and Matías Pellegrini.
The pair wasted no time in getting involved. Turnbull’s overlapping run allowed him to whip a cross into the box and on the end of it was Segal who only narrowly headed wide.
NYCFC were now ramping up the pressure, and it finally told in the 81st minute after an overload down the right freed up Cufré.
The Argentine was found with a slide-rule pass by Parks and after taking a touch to settle the ball he rifled it into the roof of the net from inside the area.
That would be Cufré’s final act as he was replaced by Kevin O’Toole minutes later.
NYCFC continued to search for a second goal and in injury time they earned a dangerous set piece opportunity after O’Toole was fouled on the edge of the area. Pereira stepped up to take it but could not put the effort on frame.
Pereira thought he’d won it in the final minute when some pinball in the box saw it land on his chest, but he dragged his volley wide of the goal.
That would prove to be the final chance of the game and confirm a 1-1 draw – both teams taking home a point.
Saturday, July 8, 2023, 7:39pm ET – MLS Regular Season Matchday 24 v. Columbus Crew | Lower.com Field; Columbus, Ohio | Broadcast: Apple TV | Radio: nycfc.com/radio