Ismael Tajouri-Shradi struck for his fourth career MLS brace and his first goals of the season, including a 64th-minute free kick leveler, and New York City FC spoiled Opening Day at a Minnesota United's Allianz Field by salvaging a 3-3 draw on Saturday afternoon.
Valentin Castellanos added an early goal for the NYCFC, which fought back to spare the blushes of goalkeeper Sean Johnson after his calamatous own goal gifted Minnesota a 3-2 lead 13 minutes before halftime.
Osvaldo Alonso put the Loons in front early with a sumptuous volley worthy of being the first goal ever scored in their sparkling new venue. And after two quick responses from the visitors, Angelo Rodriguez leveled affairs when he raced to the back post to nod in Ethan Finlay's service.
It was level for only 12 minutes before Johnson tried to play the ball with his feet and inadvertently backheeled it into his own net, to the delight of the home supporters.
But after Castellanos had another goal waived off following a Video Review which showed him handling the ball around Minnesota 'keeper Vito Mannone, Tajouri-Shradi got his second on a free kick from a tight angle that eluded everyone on its way inside the far post.
- 13' - MIN - Osvaldo Alonso | WATCH
- 16' - NYC - Valentin Castellanos | WATCH
- 18' - NYC - Ismael Tajouri-Shradi | WATCH
- 20' - MIN - Angelo Rodriguez | WATCH
- 32' - MIN - Sean Johnson (OG) | WATCH
- 64' - NYC - Ismael Tajouri-Shradi | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It's a rare thing that a visiting team enters a stadium needing a result more than a home side opening a new ground, but that may just have been the reality for NYCFC. They're still seeking their first win, but this is the kind of point that could have everyone in The Bronx breathing a little easier for a week.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Oswaldo Alonso made his name in MLS as one of the building blocks of the Seattle Sounders MLS organization. But now he's also assured an eternal place in MNUFC folklore after this sizzling ribbon-cutter.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Ismael Tajouri-Shradi. Much of the problem for NYCFC this season has been the lack of a healthy No. 9. Tajouri-Shradi may not be the perfect long-term solution, but with Heber still acclimating to his new club, he provided a clutch performance at a crucial time.