Ten-Man NYCFC Falls in Foxborough

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NYCFC logoGillette Stadium continued to be a house of horrors for New York City FC in Major League Soccer on Sunday.

NYCFC (16-9-8, 56 points) struggled to create chances on the turf and saw Jack Harrison receive a controversial red card before eventually falling 2–1 to the New England Revolution (12-15-6, 42). Two goals from Diego Fagundez secured the result for New England who won a club-record 12 home game.

The first 20 minutes of the game were evenly contested even though City was not sharp with its buildup play on the turf against a compact Revolution squad. An already difficult game was further complicated in the 26th minute when Harrison lost control in midfield and slid in two-footed on Teal Bunbury in an attempt to recover the ball. Referee Nima Saghafi determined Harrison committed serious foul play and issued him his first career red card.

The decision drew the ire of Coach Patrick Vieira who argued with the officials for much of the game and afterward. Adding to Vieira’s frustrations, the Revolution were able to outplay NYCFC and keep David Villa contained. Although they held firm into the second half, City’s defense eventually collapsed under the added stress when Andrew Farrell’s cross bounced to Fagundez on the edge of the area. Fagundez’ curling shot took a deflection before nestling into the upper corner of the net.

The Revolution remained in control for the rest of the second half and created numerous opportunities to double their lead but Sean Johnson denied them on five separate occasions. City stretched themselves but could not generate any chances from open play. Alex Callens had an opportunity off of a corner but his shot hit a teammate and Villa only recorded one shot on target, a harmless effort from distance.

Both teams traded goals in stoppage time as the Fagundez scored his second off of a 3v1 counterattack. Khiry Shelton scored his first goal of the season seconds later after Alex Ring chipped a long ball from midfield into the area that Shelton nodded past Brad Knighton.

City’s scoring woes continue as it was held to one goal or fewer for the eighth straight game. The club remains in second place in the Eastern Conference, but only lead the Chicago Fire (16-10-7, 55) by a single point. The Pigeons could clinch a first-round bye with a win against Columbus Crew (16-12-5, 53) on the final weekend of the regular season. A draw could see NYC drop to third or fourth, a loss at Citi Field would drop it to fifth and a road play-in game. It is even possible that NYC could face the Red Bulls in the play-in game.