Patrick Vieira: “The sending off changed the feel of the game.” (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — You might say that New York City FC saw red twice Sunday night.
The first time came in the 26th minute when referee Nima Saghafi awarded forward Jack Harrison his marching orders for a rough tackle on Teal Bunbury.
That forced the visitors to play the remaining 64 minutes of what turned into a 2-1 defeat at the New England Revolution a man down at Gillette Stadium.
The second time came after the game when City head coach Patrick Vieira sounded off on the call.
“It was a ridiculous red card,” Vieira said. “I see it again at halftime, I see it again after the game and I still don’t understand the decision of the referees. He tried his best to have a good game, and I think his performance wasn’t the best part of the game. Today, it was against us. The sending off changed the feel of the game.”
Second-half sub and forward Khiry Shelton, who tallied NYCFC’s goal, agreed with Vieira.
“We’re not always going to agree with the decision, but from my perspective it wasn’t a red,” he said. “It was a yellow and a warning. If you look at the video, he pulled out of it at the last second and it’s tough. We have to move on from it and look forward.”
NYCFC remained in second place in the Eastern Conference. City needs to defeat Columbus Crew SC in its final regular-season game at Citi Field Sunday to secure its position and avoid playing in a mid-week playoff match.
“It is what it is and we still have our destiny in our hands,” goalkeeper Sean Johnson said. “We win, we’re second place and that’s how we can approach this last game.”
Harrison will miss the game due to the red card.