David Villa scored the tying goal in the 52nd minute as NYCFC overcame playing shorthanded for more than half the game and recorded a 1-1 tie with the New York Red Bulls in a chippy and contentious match Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Villa scored his 10th goal with a nifty right-footed shot off a backward header from Jo Inge Berget that went into the net after Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles was slow to get in position for the save.
Villa’s goal helped NYCFC (14-6-6, 48 points) improve to 10-0-3 at home and move within three points of first-place Atlanta.
Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 16th goal in the 37th minute for the Red Bulls (15-6-4, 49 points), who are two points behind Atlanta. The Red Bulls are 5-1-2 in their last eight games.
Villa’s fifth career goal in the Hudson River Derby occurred 12 minutes after NYCFC was forced to play with 10 men when midfielder Eloi Amagat went high with his cleats to knock down Red Bulls midfielder Marc Rzatkowski and was shown the red card following a video review.
NYCFC dropped to nine players in the 73rd minute when Ebenezer Ofori was sent off for taking down Wright-Phillips from behind.
Wright-Phillips scored on a spectacular sideways header off a feed from Daniel Royer. It was his 12th career goal against NYCFC and 200th career goal in all competition for the Red Bulls.
Villa also went down late in the game after being taken down by Red Bulls defender Aaron Long in the 87th minute. He was attended to by a trainer but ultimately stayed in the game.
The teams split the season series at 1-1-1 and Wednesday was the most contentious of the three meetings. The rivals combined for 31 fouls and six yellow cards in addition to NYCFC’s two red cards.
All of the calls created nine minutes of stoppage time and both teams presented fierce challenges in the box in the waning minutes.
NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson made five saves and withstood a scary collision in the box with teammate Maxime Chanot after stopping a free kick.
Robles made one save for the Red Bulls, who are 6-4-2 all time against NYCFC.
—Field Level Media