NEW YORK – Khiry Shelton’s first career MLS goal in the first minute of second-half stoppage time secured a 2-2 draw for 10-man New York City FC against the Chicago Fire in front of a crowd of 23,315 at Yankee Stadium Friday night.
Shelton took a pass from David Villa and tucked his left-footed shot inside the far post as NYCFC overcame an RJ Allen red card and rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to secure the draw, and snap a four-game losing streak.
For the second time this season, Chicago (3-5-1) took the lead against NYCFC inside the opening 20 minutes.
As was the case in the first meeting, NYCFC (1-6-4) had to play most of the match down a man, as Allen was shown a straight red card for a tackle from behind on David Accam inside the penalty box after the Ghanaian forward stripped him of the ball.
Referee Ted Unkel pointed to the spot and Jeff Larentowicz converted the penalty kick to give Chicago a 2-0 lead in the 27th minute.
It was the second red card Accam has drawn against NYCFC this season. Andrew Jacobson was sent off for a tackle from behind in the 23rd minute of the Fire’s 1-0 win April 24 at Toyota Park.
Accam, who scored the lone goal in that game, had a chance to add a third goal on a counter in the 37th minute. But Saunders fully extended to his left to make the save.
NYCFC nearly had the equalizer in the 70th minute when Jacobson played a through ball to Villa inside the box. But Chicago defender Lovel Palmer came up with a well-timed tackle before the ball was cleared from danger.
Four minutes later, Accam got enough on a Maloney cross to trouble Saunders, but the goalkeeper did well to make a diving save.
NYCFC pushed numbers forward in the final 11 minutes as Thomas McNamara came on for Jeb Brovsky, and their pressure in the final quarter-hour paid off at the death when Shelton netted his first goal as a professional.
The Fire head to Columbus to take on the Crew next Friday night, while NYCFC go west to face Real Salt Lake Saturday.