NEW YORK (AFP) - Chelsea legend Frank Lampard's long-awaited Major League Soccer debut didn't go according to plan on Saturday as the Montreal Impact handed his New York City FC a 3-2 defeat.
More than a year after it was announced he had signed to play this season with the fledgling NYCFC, Lampard at last took the field for them, coming on in the 69th minute of a match at Yankee Stadium.
But Lampard's presence - completing a star NYCFC trio along with Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo and Spanish striker David Villa - wasn't enough as Ignacio Piatti scored twice - once from the penalty spot in the 84th minute - to help the Impact nab the away triumph.
Dominic Oduro also scored for Montreal, while Villa converted a penalty and helped create Thomas McNamara's 85th-minute goal for the hosts.
The match also marked Pirlo's first MLS start.
The Italian had made his debut in the North American league as a substitute in New York's home win over Orlando last weekend.
NYCFC announced Lampard's signing in July 2014 - when the club was still building toward the start of its first MLS campaign in March of this year.
Lampard's arrival Stateside was controversially delayed after his loan to Manchester City was extended through the end of the 2014-15 Premier League season.
He joined up with his new outfit in July, but his debut was repeatedly delayed because of a nagging calf injury.