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Patrick Mullins' late header gives NYC FC wild 4-4 tie with Toronto FC

New York City FC forward Patrick Mullins (14)

New York City FC forward Patrick Mullins (14) is congratulated by teammate midfielder Kwadwo Poku (88) after scoring a second-half goal in an MLS game against the Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, July 12, 2015. Credit: Steven Ryan

New York City FC's wild 4-4 draw with Toronto FC had a little bit of everything Sunday.

It included the third-fastest hat trick in MLS history by Toronto striker Sebastian Giovinco, four penalty kicks in the first half (of which two were missed), an own goal, a two-goal advantage squandered by the hosts, two lead changes, sloppy defense and a late equalizer.

Patrick Mullins headed in the tying goal in the 84th minute as NYC FC (5-8-6) salvaged a tie with Toronto (7-7-3) before 27,533 at Yankee Stadium. He scored off David Villa's free kick that bounced around the penalty area.

"It was crazy," defender Chris Wingert said.

"It was a very strange game," said Villa, who had two goals. "It looked like it was going to be a game where it was going to be easy and everything OK and we're going to have a huge advantage. Then we made mistakes. Then what looked like an easy victory became a very complicated match for us."

NYC FC grabbed a 1-0 lead as Villa fired in an 18-yard free kick in the 17th minute. After goalkeeper Chris Konopka saved Villa's penalty kick in the 29th minute, Mullins' follow-up shot deflected off Damien Perquis for an own goal to make it 2-0.

Sandwiched between those goals was Giovinco's miss on a penalty kick -- the first of four whistled by referee Ted Unkel -- as he sent the ball off the left post. The Italian striker was just getting warmed up, recording a hat trick within a nine-minute span. He converted a penalty kick in the 34th minute after a bad foul by Kwame Watson-Siriboe.

"For whatever reason, there seems to be a moment in every game where we just stop," NYC FC coach Jason Kreis said. "A lot of guys hung their heads and said, 'Here we go again.' That's not a good enough reaction."

Giovinco took advantage, scoring the equalizer after latching on to a back-heel pass in the 40th minute and the go-ahead goal off a chip shot over goalkeeper Josh Saunders in the 43rd minute. It was his 11th goal.

"For that player that we've known that much about, to get that much time and space is incomprehensible," Kreis said.

Villa knotted it up with a penalty kick in the 65th minute before Toronto's Marky Delgado turned another NYC FC defensive error into a 4-3 edge in the 82nd minute.

Notes & quotes: A calf strain prevented English midfielder Frank Lampard from making his debut. Kreis said he hopes to have Lampard ready for Saturday's game in New England.

New York Sports