NEW YORK – David Villa stepped to the penalty spot full of confidence and with the home fans at Yankee Stadium standing ready to roar.


The Spanish legend has been almost automatic on penalty kicks since signing with New York City FC. But as he prepared to seal a much-needed win, the forward slipped and shanked his attempt.


It was a rare miscue for one of the league’s best players, one that opened the door for Orlando City SC to pull out a dramatic 2-2 draw at the death on a powerful Kevin Molino header.


But it is also symbolic of NYCFC’s struggles this season.


“When you are in good moments, you score in the last minute or this ball goes to the crossbar,” Villa said. “We are I think in a bad moment, unlucky or in moments of the game we deserve it more.”


Villa, who scored a sublime goal to put NYCFC (4-4-6) ahead 2-0, said his left foot slipped when he tried to plant it on the Yankee Stadium grass, causing him to fall. But he wasn’t going to blame the field, or its dimensions, for his missed PK or his club’s woeful home form.


“We have at home this pitch and we have to improve. No excuses. It’s not small or wet or bad grass or nothing,” said Villa, who is now 9-for-11 on penalty kicks. “It’s the same when we play away. When you ask me about the turf, the same. We need to improve to be good on this pitch and nothing more.”


While Villa’s penalty flub was a stunning one-off, the same can’t be said for the club conceding late. After setting up Julio Baptistain the 72nd minute, an unmarked Molino headed in a squared ball by Cyle Larin to give the visitors a share of the points.


“We need to be more ruthless in front of the goal. When we create chances, we have crosses, but we didn’t have enough bodies inside the box,” NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira said. “At the same time, when we are defending as well we need to be more ruthless, more with the desire to defend. This is the critical moment of the games.”


The overall performance was certainly an improvement over last week’s dreadful 7-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls. But instead of celebrating a massive response and a move back atop the Eastern Conference standings, NYCFC leaves Yankee Stadium with bitter disappointment yet again.


“It was very disappointing. We started off 2-0 we were winning and we should have sealed the deal,” said NYCFC midfielder Andrea Pirlo, who played a sublime ball to Villa on his league-leading ninth goal of the season. “It’s very frustrating. We need to work on that.”