Late equalizer from Brian Cufre saves the day for NYCFC as they snatch a late 1-1 draw at home to Charlotte FC
- McKinze Gaines of Charlotte FC salutes after scoring a goal in the first half
- Braian Cufre of New York City scored the equalizing goal in the 81st minute
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Braian Cufre came to the rescue with an 81st-minute goal, giving New York City FC a 1-1 draw against visiting Charlotte FC on Wednesday night.
NYCFC (5-7-10, 25 points) dominated the possession and the chances throughout the match but needed Cufre’s goal to avoid a loss.
The result kept NYCFC unbeaten in the past seven outings (1-0-6).
McKinze Gaines scored in the 17th minute for Charlotte FC (6-8-7, 25 points), who failed to preserve that 1-0 lead and instead settled for a fourth straight draw. Charlotte is 0-2-4 since its last victory on May 27.
NYCFC held 58 percent of the possession and a massive 21-3 advantage in shots, though just five of their shots were on goal. Charlotte goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina made four saves, while New York City’s Luis Barraza had one save.
New York City FC and Charlotte FC played to a 1-1 draw in a closely contested matchup
Braian Cufre of New York City scored the equalizing goal in the 81st minute of play
McKinze Gaines (right) scored in the 17th minute for Charlotte FC to put them ahead
A very active first 12 minutes saw Talles Magno put two high-quality shots on target for New York City, but both were saved.
Charlotte star Karol Swiderski led an attack the other way and tried a pass across the box, but an NYCFC defender got a boot on it. The ball found its way to Gaines at the top of the box, and he rocketed a right-footed one-timer into the net for his first goal of the season.
Charlotte forward Enzo Copetti, who hit the post with a shot early in the game, limped off with an apparent leg injury in the 31st minute and was replaced by Justin Meram.
New York City FC got back at it in the second half. Keaton Parks lobbed a perfect pass to Magno, whose left-footed shot in the 56th minute was saved by Kahlina. On the ensuing counterattack, Charlotte’s Scott Arfield made a slippery move in the box to carry the ball in close, but he was knocked off-balance before getting off a proper shot.
Gabriel Pereira subbed in for Magno and announced himself quickly, hitting the woodwork with a shot in the 66th minute and missing two more attempts soon after.
NYCFC finally got on the board with time winding down after Parks found Cufre unmarked on the left side of the attacking third. Cufre’s left-footed shot glanced off the cleat of Charlotte defender Derrick Jones and past Kahlina, his second goal of the year.
The hosts were awarded a free kick just outside the box during second-half stoppage time, but Pereira poked his shot much too high.