The famed midfielder from England took the mic after the presentation of the commemorative jersey and ring and the “Frank Lampard Day” proclamation from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office. Lampard stood on the Yankee Stadium pitch and made his pitch to the crowd.
“I’m very proud to score my 300th goal,” Lampard told the New York City FC supporters Thursday night about his combined club and country milestone from Aug. 13. “Now we’ve got a game and we’re going to do our best to win.”
NYCFC had a chance to grab the top spot in the East away from Toronto FC in the airtight conference race by claiming three points with a victory.
In the end, it turned out to be Frank Lampard Day and Night. He scored the tiebreaking goal in the 85th minute. But then Lamar Neagle countered for D.C. United in the first minute of stoppage time. But then Lampard scored in the third minute of extra time to give NYCFC a pulsating 3-2 win.
So with six regular-season matches remaining, this second-year team is up to 12-8-8 and is looking down from the top of the standings with 44 points. Toronto has 43, followed by the Red Bulls and Philadelphia with 40 apiece.
“That’s a huge result for us,” Lampard said. “It doesn’t mean anything quite yet in terms of what we want to do . . . It’s a great step forward for us.”
After Neagle beat Josh Saunders on a header off a corner kick to tie it at 2, Khiry Shelton sent Lampard into the box, and he dribbled in to beat Bill Hamid for the winner.
“I was just delighted to give us that celebration feeling, which is what we all love in this game,” Lampard said.
D.C. United (7-9-11) led 1-0 when Luke Mishu made an errant pass. It sent David Villa on a breakaway, and he buried his league-leading 17th to tie it in the 79th minute.
Then Lampard drilled a shot past Hamid from about 8 yards away for a 2-1 advantage in the 85th minute.
“I think tonight we showed a lot of character, a lot of desire, a lot of passion,” NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira said.
Lloyd Sam had D.C. United up 1-0 at halftime. But it slipped away.
“It hurts,” D.C. United coach Ben Olsen said, “but there are games in the season that hurt . . . It hurts for a day or two and you move on.”