New York City Football Club were on the hunt for a Wednesday win as they took on FC Cincinnati in Ohio.
Interim Head Coach Nick Cushing made three chances to the side that took on Philadelphia Union, with Malte Amundsen, Gabriel Pereira, and Héber replacing Chris Gloster, Santiago Rodríguez, and Taty Castellanos.
The game proved a tense affair during the early exchanges with both sides keen to feel their way into the contest and establish a rhythm.
That period would end abruptly in the 15th minute after Sean Johnson’s clearance was pounced on and Luciano Acosta applied a finish to give Cincinnati the lead.
NYCFC were unfortunately forced into a first half substitution in the 24th minute after Maxime Chanot collided with the post during an earlier play – Justin Haak entering in his place and Alfredo Morales dropping into the defence.
Amid those changes, the visitors doubled their lead when Acosta slid a pass in for Brenner to slot the ball past Johnson.
Harnessing that momentum again six minutes later Cincinnati added a third goal after Brandon Vazquez chested the ball into the path of Brenner to convert.
NYCFC were handed the chance to get back in the game from the penalty spot after Tyler Blackett handled the ball in the 34th minute, but Maxi Moralez’s effort was saved.
The veteran playmaker would get a look from distance minutes later but he was unable to keep it underneath the bar.
As half time approached so too did the beginning of a surreal seven-minute spell that saw NYCFC register three goals and restore parity.
The first – a backheeled finish from Talles Magno – came in the 45th minute after an NYCFC corner found the teenager with his back to goal just a few yards out.
Not to be outdone, Héber added his name to the scoresheet two minutes later after latching onto a pass from Maxi Moralez and calmly lofting it over the goalkeeper.
The comeback was complete in the 7th minute of injury time when a Moralez cross from a freekick landed on Héber’s head and he powered it home.
The veteran playmaker whipped in a delightful cross from a freekick and found Héber in space
Almost defying belief, the Boys in Blue found a third goal before the half finished. Again it was a combination between Moralez and Héber, with the former’s freekick finding the head of the Brazilian in the final seconds of stoppage time.
The second period brought no changes but an early chance for the hosts as Acosta found Brenner in behind but Johnson did well to narrow the angle and block the shot.
NYCFC would instead take the lead after a driving run from Pereira in the 52nd minute opened up space for him to unleash a ferocious drive that hit the top corner.
The game took a breathe for the next 15 minutes as the hosts sought to get back into things and they did that in the 69th minute through a long-range drive from Brenner.
In the wake of that goal Thiago Andrade was introduced into the game in place of compatriot Talles Magno.
Cushing would again turn to his bench in the 83rd minute in order to sub out Pereira in place of Andres Jasson.
The hosts thought they had claimed a decisive fifth goal in the 90th minute after a brilliant point-blank save from Johnson was tapped home by Brenner on the rebound - the goal subsequently chalked off after consultation with VAR.
That would be the final notable act of the game and confirm a memorable road point for NYCFC after a fantastic comeback.