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New York City FC plays to third consecutive draw to open season against LAFC

New York City FC plays to third consecutive draw to open season against LAFC
NYCFC snapped a season-long scoreless streak with Alexandru Mitrita's goal in the 39th minute at Yankee Stadium.

NYCFC snapped a season-long scoreless streak with Alexandru Mitrita’s goal in the 39th minute at Yankee Stadium.

Comedy Central's "The Other Two" has filmed in Times Square and on the Brooklyn Bridge. 
Comedy Central’s "The Other Two" has filmed in Times Square and on the Brooklyn Bridge.  Photo Credit: HBO/David M. Russell

New York City FC broke its scoreless streak and put a pause on questions about its offense Sunday.

And still, they couldn’t get a win.

NYCFC drew for the third consecutive game, this time with visiting Los Angeles FC, 2-2, at Yankee Stadium. The club relinquished a late lead in the second half on a penalty kick after jump-starting the offense behind goals from captain Alexander Ring and Alexandru Mitrita.

Ring scored on a 62nd minute strike off a pass from Ben Sweat to give NYCFC (0-0-3) a 2-1 lead. Sweat saved the ball from rolling across out next to the goal and made a play out of what looked like a lost cause.

The margin vanished in the 76th minute, when Carlos Vela slotted in a penalty to even the score for LAFC (2-1-1).

Early in the game it seemed the scoring drought stretching back to the team’s opener might continue. Then, in the 39th minute, 2019 newcomer Mitrita found his opening and beat a defender in the midfield.

Mitrita dashed down the sideline, entered the box against three more defenders and banged a powerful strike past them and goalkeeper Tyler Miller for Mitrita’s first NYCFC goal. Blues fans let out their pent-up excitement, celebrating the team’s first score in 173 minutes.

It looked like the floodgates might open moments later, when Mitrita took a set piece that slammed off the crossbar. The offense did open up the game, however, as LA’s Vela answered in the 43rd minute to even the score at 1 apiece.

The Blues enter the international break before visiting Toronto FC on March 29.

Kieran Lynch