On Saturday, the New England Revolution hosted New York City FC who were looking for their fourth consecutive win to start the season. Despite the visitors being the hotter of the two teams, the Revs had gone unbeaten in the last 9 games at Gillette Stadium prior to Saturday.
David Villa wasn't in the 18 for a second consecutive game, Alex Ring and Rodney Wallace who had started all previous matches this season were away on international duty forcing NYCFC to play a weakened lineup. Jo Inge Berget and Ebenezer Ofori were awarded their first MLS starts for NYCFC.
Starting right away, the Revs nearly took advantage of a misplaced Ben Sweat pass in the second minute. The fullback's pass ended up at Diego Fagundez's feet who played in Cristian Penilla forcing a strong tackle from Maxime Chanot to prevent the games opening goal. The Revs continued to dominate early on and their pressure finally paid off when Diego Fagundez grabbed the opening goal in the 11th minute.
NYCFC grew into the game quickly after the goal but couldn't quite get any clear chances. Despite possessing 75% of the ball, the Revs continued to get the better of the chances. Penilla hit the post for the hosts with just over 5 minutes remaining in the first half. The half ended 1-0 to the Revs who were hoping to extend their home unbeaten streak to double digits.
It didn't take long for NYCFC to make the most of their possession in the second half as they grabbed a 51st-minute goal from Ismael Tajouri who grabbed his second goal in 2 starts for the club. Three new boys combined on the goal as Jesus Medina led the charge, playing the ball forward to an overlapping Saad Abdul-Salaam who centered it to Tajouri who never looked like missing.
The Revs regained the lead in the 63rd minute when Juan Agudelo grabbed a goal minutes after coming off the bench. Penilla received the ball out wide, took on Abdul-Salaam and dropped a ball on the head of Agudelo who had no choice but to score. Just about 10 minutes later, Ismael Tajouri grabbed his third goal in two games equalizing for NYCFC. The Revs couldn't keep up the press that they had implemented in the opening 70 minutes and NYCFC found another breakthrough.
The match ended 2-2 as the Revs push their home unbeaten streak to doble digits and NYCFC drop their first points of the season but remain unbeaten.
The Revs will travel down south to take on the Houston Dynamo. After that, the players will be pleased to have back-to-back home games as they'll host the Montreal Impact and FC Dallas to start the month of April.
NYCFC will look to remain unbeaten as they take a trip out west as to face the San Jose Earthquakes a week after their matchup with the Revs. Then, NYCFC will get the following weekend off before their first midweek clash of the season as they'll host Real Salt Lake on April 11th.