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NYCFC, TFC finish level in eight-goal thriller

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – Sebastian Giovinco and David Villa matched each other stride for stride on Sunday as New York City FC and Toronto FC played to a wild 4-4 draw at Yankee Stadium.

The stars were out in full force for TFC on Sunday as Giovinco struck in the 34th, 40th and 43rd minutes to complete the third-fastest hat trick in Major League Soccer history and added an assist, while Marco Delgado added another goal for Toronto FC, which played without Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore due to international duty.

NYCFC designated player Frank Lampard was scheduled to make his MLS debut, but was ruled out on Friday due to a hamstring strain. Despite missing Lampard, Villa converted a pair of penalty kicks to go with a Damien Perquis own goal and a late strike off the boot of Patrick Mullins.

New York City opened the scoring after 17 minutes when Villa uncorked an excellent free kick from about 20 yards out to the goalkeeper side of the wall. Toronto FC goalkeeper Chris Konopka got a hand to it, but could only push it into the side netting.

But just moments later Toronto had a chance to equalize when Benoit Cheyrou was pulled down in the box by Mehdi Ballouchy, prompting referee Ted Unkel to point to the spot.

Giovinco stepped up but smashed his effort off the left post.

The hosts then doubled their lead in the 29th minute when Villa failed to convert another penalty kick, but the rebound was forced home by Toronto defender Damien Perquis for the own goal.

Unkel awarded Toronto another spot kick in the 34th minute when Kwame Watson- Siriboe clattered Daniel Lovitz in the box.

Giovinco stepped up again and went to the same spot, this time blasting it into the bottom left corner past New York City goalkeeper Josh Saunders.

TFC pulled level five minutes before the break when Jackson slid a well- executed back-heel through ball into the path of Giovinco and the little Italian finished cooly into the bottom right corner.

Two minutes later Giovinco completed his treble when he ran onto a loose ball and chipped it over Saunders for his 10th goal of the season.

But New York drew level as Konopka came off his line and took down Villa, allowing Unkel to point to the spot for the fourth time — an MLS record for the most penalties given in one match,

Villa stepped up again and blasted it past Konopka to the bottom left for his second goal of the day.

Giovinco then set up another goal as Toronto grabbed the lead back in the 82nd minute. Giovinco got free down the left flank and drew two defenders before squaring it across the face of goal for Delgado, who finished with ease.

The home side again had an answer, however, as Mullins netted his fourth of the season to put the sides back on level terms.

The fourth official’s board showed three minutes of added time as the clubs continued to search for a late winner, but ultimately settled for a point apiece.

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