FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Playing without three key starters, New York City FC rallied back from a road deficit twice on Saturday afternoon to come away with a 2-2 tie against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
Newcomer Ismael Tajouri continued his strong start with goals in the 51st and 75th minute to keep NYCFC unbeaten through four matches.
The visitors again went without David Villa, while Alex Ring (Finland), Rodney Wallace (Costa Rica) and Ronald Matarrita (Costa Rica) were away on international duty, and Anton Tinnerholm remained on the bench.
The hosts went ahead early on as Wilfried Zahibo advanced the ball to Diego Fagundez for a curler off the left post and in from just over 20 yards out to beat NYCFC keeper Sean Johnson (5 saves) in the 11th minute.
NYCFC made it a new game in the 51st minute, beating Revs goalie Matt Turner as Jesus Medina found right back Saad Abdul-Salaam on an overlapping run. Abdul-Salaam cut it back into the middle for Tajouri for a confident redirect out by the penalty spot to make it 1-1.
The Revolution soon went back in front as Juan Agudelo made an instant impact three minutes after being subbed on for Kelyn Rowe.
Zahibo switched field to Cristian Penilla on the left side and he served it in to the far post where Agudelo beat out Alex Callens to head home from 10 yards out and make it 2-1 New England in the 63rd minute.
NYCFC got another equalizer from Tajouri, though, in the 75th minute, as Yangel Herrera split Revolution defenders Jalil Anibaba and Andrew Farrell to spring Tajouri into the box to complete his brace.
The Revs (2-1-0) travel outside the northeast for the first time this season, visiting the Houston Dynamo next Saturday night before starting April with another two-game home stand against Montreal and FC Dallas.
NYCFC (3-1-0) is in the midst of a stretch of playing six out of eight match on the road and will play at the San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday.
MAN OF THE MATCH
The former Austria Wien man Tajouri has made a big impact just four games into his MLS career and looks like he has acclimated to the league well. His brace helped NYCFC grab a point in a tough road environment.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Both of Tajouri’s goals were impressive, but his second one really took the air out of the Revs and changed the momentum of the game. It was a great ball from Herrera as well, but Tajouri positioned himself well and maneuvered well in a tight spot to get a nice shot past Turner.
MATCH TO FORGET
The right side of the Revolution’s back line, center back Anibaba and right back Farrell showed they might be the team’s biggest weakness. Coach Brad Friedel went with Anibaba over regular starter Antonio Delamea and the move backfired. Farrell was unable to track back in time to get into the play on the first NYCFC goal and the duo were both at fault on the second.