Frederick Brillant and David Villa scored a goal in each half, but a stoppage time goal from Kevin Molino tied the match and left the more than 25,000 fans in attendance Sunday at Yankee Stadium feeling disappointed.
Brillant scored his first Major League Soccer goal three minutes from halftime to send NYCFC into the break with a 1-0 lead. RJ Allen latched onto a deep Andrea Pirlo corner and played a terrific ball back towards the far post where Brillant leapt up and headed it home.
Villa doubled NYCFC’s lead in the 66th minute when he took a ball from Pirlo off his chest and then lobbed it past Orlando City goalkeeper Joe Bendik from 17 yards for his league-leading ninth goal of the season.
Four minutes later Villa had a chance for a brace from the penalty spot after referee Jorge Gonzalez ruled Lions defender Seb Hines handled inside the box. But Villa slipped and failed to convert a penalty kick for just the second time in 11 tries.
Orlando City pulled within a goal in the 72nd minute when Julio Baptista received a ball from Molino and put a low deflected shot inside the near post.
Molino netted the late equalizer when he received a headed ball from Cyle Larin and put a side volley into the net.
Josh Saunders was tested early, but came up with a spectacular save to rob Larin in the seventh minute. Adrian Winter crossed to the Canadian forward and Larin put his downward header on frame. But Saunders leapt and pushed the attempt wide for a corner kick.