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D.C. United

NYCFC draws D.C. United 1-1 despite dominant home performance

Bronx, N.Y. — David Villa rewarded New York City FC with a goal four minutes before full time to give the home side a 1-1 draw with D.C. United Saturday in front of a rain-soaked announced crowd of 28,239 at Yankee Stadium.

The level of domination from NYCFC probably warranted more. 

“Right now, we have more of a possibility if they are able to play in that way,” head coach Dome Torrent said after the match.

New York City outshot D.C. United by a margin of 31-2 and held Wayne Rooney to a single attempt at goal – a bicycle kick early in the match that missed the target.

United’s only other attempt was off a Rooney set piece from distance that looped into the area where Steve Birnbaum beat Sean Johnson for the headed goal – Birnbaum’s second of the season — in the 58th minute.

Johnson was late off his line and apologized to Torrent after the match.

The D.C. United bench appealed for a first-half penalty when NYC’s 18-year-old James Sands collided with Rooney in the area and England’s all-time leading scorer fell heavily.

Rooney did not agree with the dissenters.

“On my run, I wasn’t asking for a penalty,” Rooney said. “I lost my balance.”

Sands was in Rooney’s vicinity throughout the match and admitted to a Manchester derby flashback when Rooney’s acrobatic shot went wide.

“I remember watching those derbies – the bicycle kick,” said Sands, who was 12 years old when Rooney scored on a bicycle for Manchester United in a 2-1 win over Manchester City.

Villa, Spain’s all-time leader in goals, scored his equalizer on City’s 26th attempt. The captain gained a share of the team lead with his 11th goal of the season and 73rd of his MLS career.  

Ismael Toujouri-Shradi, who played 87 minutes for Libya in a 0-0 draw in South Africa at the African Cup of Nations qualifier earlier in the day, also has 11 goals in his rookie campaign with NYCFC.

For the second consecutive match, NYCFC flooded the final third with shots and service. In Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to New England, which ended a franchise-record 16 home matches without a defeat, City set a club record for shots in a game with 27, compared to 11 for the Revolution.

NYCFC attained a new record for shots Saturday, but has one goal and one point derived from the torrent of 58 total shots from the last two matches.

“The energy’s been there. The intensity’s been there. Everyone’s working hard for each other. The camaraderie’s been there,” left back Ben Sweat said. “You work on the little details toward the end of the year. You work on some crossing and finishing in training, and you get guys with confidence — and then comes the goals. That’s the only piece we’re missing right now.”

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