Frank Lampard's debut was a disappointing one as New York were unable to overcome Canadian side Montreal Impact in a mid-table clash in the East Conference.
City were valiant, however, and launched a comeback after two early goals but were unable to complete it after Piatti slotted home a penalty late on.
Both teams put out strong teams for the mid-table clash with City fielding a team with the experience of McNamara, Pirlo (who was making his first start for NYCFC) and Villa whilst Montreal went for pace up front, once again, with Oduro and Piatta in attack.
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Lampard, however, had to wait for his first NYCFC minutes as he was named on the bench after a spell out with a calf injury. The 27,000 supporters were ecstatic when the former England international replaced Jacobson in the 69th minute.
The game started quickly with Oduro latching onto an ambitious lob through ball from deep in their own half, before tapping the ball through the legs of Saunders, City's goalkeeper, and slotting home.
Then, in the 32nd minute, yet another long ball opened up the City defense but this time it was Piatti who finished off the move with a cheeky chip over the 'keeper.
In the second half, however, after neat play from Villa, McNamara was tripped in the area giving David Villa the opportunity to get City back into game from 12 yards. Needless to say the former Spain international slotted it home, just past the hands of Bush, into the bottom left corner.
However, City gave away a penalty of their own in the 84th minute, although it was controversial as referee Jose Rivero decreed that Saunders had brought Piatti down, despite getting his hands to the ball. This gave Piatti the opportunity to double his tally and finish off the gave. Piatti, as cool as you like, placed his penalty in the bottom right corner, with Saunders going the other way.
Within seconds though, City went back up the other end and, after good build up play down the left, winger McNamara drove the ball across Bush in Montreal's goal and into the bottom right corner.
Despite this late goal NYCFC could not force an equalizer and recorded their 10th league defeat this season. This leaves them level on points with Orlando City, although Orlando have a game in hand over City.
Impact, however, have jumped to just one point behind New England Revolution, in fifth, but with four games in hand. The play-offs look certain for Impact, but less so for City.
Lampard came off the bench in the 69th minute but took time to get into the game and did not quite get into the game as much as some would have liked. Plenty to look forward to from him in the future, though.