Heber scored the equalizer for NYCFC in the second half. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
BRONX — There are two ways to look at New York City FC’s home record this season.
On one hand, City is undefeated in five games at Yankee Stadium.
On the other hand, NYCFC has recorded only a 1-0-4 mark and have only seven out of a possible 15 points at home after Saturday afternoon’s 1-1 draw with Orlando City SC at Yankee Stadium.
The result left both teams with 12 points in the MLS Eastern Conference, Orlando at a 3-3-3 record and NYCFC at 2-1-6.
The hosts fell short of extending their winning streak to three games, but they are unbeaten in five matches.
The first half saw more than its saw of action on both sides of the field, but both teams could show only one goal for their efforts.
And that was by the visitors in the 18th minute. Center back Maxime Chanot knocked the ball out of the six-yard box, but his poor clearance went to Nani. The Brazilian did not hesitate, slotting home the ball into the lower right corner past goalkeeper Sean Johnson. The goal snapped City’s shutout streak at 256 minutes.
As it turned out, there were more near misses than goals in the opening 45 minutes.
Seven minutes later, Chanot atoned for his mistake by hooked away Nani’s shot off the goal line in front of an empty goal to avert a two-goal hole.
Orlando, which played NYCFC to a 2-2 draw last month, again put the ball into the back of the net in the 33rd minute. NYCFC’s other center back, Alexander Callens, fell and whiffed on a clearance. Tesho Akindele put the ball into the net, but after a Video Assistant Referee review, the goal was nullified due to an offside call.
After dodging that bullet, City nearly equalized in the 36th minute. Heber fed Ismael Tajouri-Shradi on the right flank and with goalkeeper Brian Rowe in no man’s land while leaving an open goal, the NYCFC forward sent his shot just left of the target.
Rowe looked shaky again in the 43rd minute as he spilled the ball in the penalty area, but pounced on it before Heber had an opportunity to get to it.
NYCFC solved Rowe in the 51st minute. Maxi Moralez drilled a shot that a diving Rowe deflected off the left post. The rebound went to Heber, who had no problem slipping the ball home for his second goal of the season and a 1-1 deadlock.