New York City FC were eliminated from the 2021 Leagues Cup in heartbreaking fashion Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, drawing Liga MX foe Pumas UNAM 1-1 but falling 3-2 in penalty kicks, capping a late-night quarterfinal that was delayed by three hours due to severe weather.

Taty Castellanos scored the opener in the 61st minute to put NYCFC in the driver's seat, but the Cityzens relinquished the lead thanks to a 72nd-minute leveler from Pumas forward Rogério, which wound up forcing the decisive shootout. The result sends Pumas through to the tournament semifinals, where they'll meet fellow Liga MX side Club León.

NYCFC found the better of the play early and thought they rewarded themselves with an early opener when Keaton Parks ran onto a feed from Castellanos and lashed home in the 21st minute. But the goal was waved off for offside on Video Review and the match remained scoreless.

The Cityzens then had another opener waved off on Video Review just after the halftime whistle. Santiago Rodríguez finished off a breakaway opportunity, but it was deemed that a handball was committed by NYCFC in the build-up and the hosts were denied a go-ahead goal once again.

The scoreless deadlock persisted until the 61st minute, when the sides swapped goals in a span of 11 minutes. NYCFC got the first one, finally finding their breakthrough, with Castellanos heading home a clever corner kick from Maxi Moralez. But Pumas found their leveler in the 72nd minute through Rogério, who did well to sneak a low shot past NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson. Neither side managed to find a winner, sending the contest to a penalty kick shootout.

Both goalkeepers put on a show to start the shootout, with Johnson and Pumas' Julio González combining to save four of the first six shots. Pumas emerged victorious, though, as González denied Moralez with the shootout tied 2-2, allowing former Real Salt Lake homegrown Sebastian Saucedo to step up to the spot and drill home the winner.

Goals

  • 61' - NYC - Valentin Castellanos | WATCH
  • 72' - PUM - Rogério | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Between the lengthy weather delay, the two disallowed goals and the penalty-kick theatrics, this match certainly had all the makings of some classic #MLSAfterDark action. In the end, it's a frustrating way for NYCFC to bow out of the tournament, as they controlled much of the proceedings and saw two goals wiped off the scoreboard that could have changed the result. Instead, it's back to league play now for Ronny Deila's group, who are currently third in the Eastern Conference table.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: This 72nd-minute equalizer off the foot of Rogério proved to be a crucial blow, forcing the shootout that ended NYCFC's Leagues Cup hopes.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Sean Johnson did everything he could to give his team a chance in the shootout with a pair of huge saves on each of Pumas' first two shots.

Next Up

  • NYC: End of tournament
  • PUM: Tuesday, Sept. 14 or Sept. 15 vs. Club León | Leagues Cup Semifinal