New York City FC played what Ronny Deila called an “almost perfect away game.” But they left Red Bull Arena Wednesday night with a share of the points and were bitterly disappointed over a pair of referee decisions in a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls.

Deila debated the straight red card given to Keaton Parks in the 73rd minute for a tackle that injured Dru Yearwood, saying “it’s not a red card every time somebody gets injured. For me, it's very, very soft.”

But his biggest gripe came on the decision to award the Red Bulls a penalty kick in the 100th minute, a handball against Maxime Chanot that resulted in the defender’s sending off via a second bookable offense.

Referee Ismail Elfath took an extended look at the monitor before pointing to the spot. Patryk Klimala followed with the latest equalizer in MLS regular-season history.

“It hits his shoulder, it's his upper arm. If it’s hitting his hand low, OK we can discuss it,” Deila said. “It’s half a yard from the ball. It’s not a goal chance. It’s just a shot from 16 or 17 yards, I don’t know, on a second ball. No players react, no players react. Everybody is calm, the New York Red Bulls players are calm, nobody reacts. If that was a clear handball, then we will see 10 crazy Red Bull players.”

Goalkeeper Sean Johnson was also bemused with eight minutes of second-half stoppage time being given.


“It’s hard to comment, obviously emotions are still running a little bit high, I think, for me it's a lot of time,” Johnson said. “I don't think anybody would’ve expected eight minutes to be thrown up on the scoreboard for stoppage time, unbelievable amount of stoppage time for the stoppages we had in that half.”

It all sets up a juicy return match Saturday at Yankee Stadium (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+). Although he’ll need to make some changes to his lineup due to suspension, Deila is going with an “if it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it” mentality with his tactical approach.

“It’s a new game, so of course it's the same things that are going to be important,” he said. “We’ll see how we approach it, but it’s stupid to change things that are working.”

Meanwhile, Johnson will be taking a mental picture of the scenes on the field after the final whistle with him to Yankee Stadium.

“For me, it’s about taking this game and obviously this frustration and putting it into the weekend because there's no way for me that we should have walked out of here without three points,” Johnson said. “We deserved it and worked for it. It was disappointing to walk off the pitch and see them celebrate a draw as if it were justly deserved.”